Larry Bowa can rest a bit easier for a while.
One day after Philadelphia general manager Ed Wade said Bowa will remain the team’s manager for the rest of the season, the Phillies will try to complete a season-series sweep of the Milwaukee Brewers.
Picked by many to win the NL East this season, the Phillies have been one of baseball’s biggest disappointments. Speculation over Bowa’s job has run rampant since his team started its freefall out of playoff contention.
Wade addressed that issue Saturday, but refused to say whether Bowa would return in 2005.
“As is the case at the end of every season, we will sit down at that point to review and address the status of our players, our manager and his staff,” Wade said in a statement. “Until that time, our sole focus will be on our performance on the field.”
The Phillies had a three-game lead in the NL East on July 5, but have since gone 20-28 to fall 11 1/2 games behind first-place Atlanta.
“Much of the speculation has come about because of the inconsistent performance of the team and the high expectations that many of us had coming into the 2004 season. But the season is not over,” Wade said.
Philadelphia is sixth in the NL wild-card race, eight games behind the Chicago Cubs.
One of the lone bright spots for the Phillies over the past few weeks has been their performance against the Brewers. Philadelphia is 5-10 since Aug. 12, and all five wins have come against Milwaukee.
After sweeping a three-game set at Miller Park last weekend, the Phillies have won two straight against the Brewers at Citizens Bank Park. They have never swept the season series.
The Brewers, who stranded 11 runners Saturday, have lost 10 straight. It’s their longest slide since dropping 11 in a row from July 14-24, 2001.