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The Phillies lost to the Chicago Cubs (box score) 2-0 on Thursday, completing the season series between the teams -- a season series that saw Philadelphia go 0-6. The Phillies were outscored by 23 runs in those six contests, with half of the damage coming as part of a 15-2 shellacking back in July.

Left-hander Ranger Suárez delivered a quality start on Thursday, holding the Cubs to a pair of runs on seven hits and a walk across six innings. It didn't matter because the Phillies' lineup was unable to leverage any of its opportunities throughout the game. The Phillies stranded 16 runners in total; Rhys Hoskins, J.T. Realmuto, Alec Bohm, and Brandon Marsh were responsible for three or more of those apiece. Marsh also misjudged a fly ball with two outs that led to the Cubs' second run.

The loss comes at an inopportune time for the Phillies in more ways than one. Philadelphia entered Thursday with just a half-game lead over the Milwaukee Brewers. The Brewers will play against the Miami Marlins later tonight, and a win would put them ahead of the Phillies in the standings. The Phillies did take the season series from the Brewers, giving them the tiebreaker, should it come to that. (Major League Baseball did away with tiebreaker games this season as part of the introduction of the expanded postseason.)

Still, the Phillies could have a hectic final week. MLB altered their weekend series versus the Washington Nationals, moving a doubleheader to Friday instead of Saturday because of the impact the remnants of Hurricane Ian will likely have on the series. There's at least a chance that the Phillies and Nationals will get rained out this weekend. Should that happen, and should the playoff race require it, the Phillies could end up making up a game next Thursday, or on the off day between the end of the regular season and the beginning of the playoffs.

Of course, for that to matter to the Phillies, they'll have to take advantage of playing the lowly Nationals this weekend. After that, they'll finish out the year with three games in Houston against the Astros. It's possible the Phillies could look back on their season-long struggles against the Cubs as the difference between making their first postseason since 2011 and spending another October on their local golf courses.