The Phillies experienced both halves of what can happen with a soft schedule this week. They easily handled the Pirates in a series win and had their doors blown off by the Diamondbacks in a series loss. Philadelphia has shown that they can beat the teams they should beat, but for whatever reason, that doesn’t extend to Arizona’s Chase Field.
Falter has been nothing short of fantastic in his two starts starting in place of Zack Wheeler. He’s allowed just four runs in 12.1 innings and has gone at least six innings in both starts. The Phillies have won both of Falter’s starts in place of Wheeler. His start Wednesday night was the best of his career, as he went 6.1 while allowing one run on five hits with 6 strikeouts before exiting with a groin injury.
Harper has not seemingly lost a step in his return from injury. He’s hitting .381 with a .976 OPS in his first six games back with 4 RBIs. Two of those RBIs came in his first plate appearance back with a two-run, bases loaded single. It was the Phillies first hit with the bases loaded and no outs in 2022. Harper’s injury killed any chance he had at repeating as MVP, but he’s slashing .323/.395/.589 for the season with 15 home runs in 70 games.
Realmuto just continues on his scorching hot pace over the last two months. He’s hitting .346 with an OPS of 1.073 over his last seven games played. His .998 OPS since the start of July is sixth best in all of baseball and his 172 wRC+ is eighth best. This is all while Realmuto has the second highest defensive WAR (17.3) among all players in baseball.
Marsh’s return has made less headlines than Harper for obvious reasons. But Marsh’s return has paid dividends as well. In four games since returning on August 27th, Marsh is hitting .353 with a two-run triple and a three-run home run. The 24-year-old is slashing .286/.314/.429 in 16 games since being acquired from the Angels. Marsh is still striking out at a very high clip (31.4%), but there are some early results from Kevin Long’s coaching.
Nola followed up his best start of the season with the worst start of his career. He allowed 8 runs on 10 hits in just 4 innings pitched Tuesday in Arizona. It was the most earned runs he’s allowed in a start in his career and the third time in his career he’s allowed 10 hits in a game. Despite his brilliance in his complete game shutout and his duel with Jacob deGrom, it’s starts like this that add fuel to the “September Nola” narrative. Nola allowed one or fewer runs in three of his five starts in August. Conversely, he allowed 5 or more in his other two.
Suárez also had a disaster of an outing in Arizona. He once again lost his command in the middle innings after cruising through the first three. Suárez allowed 6 runs, only two of which were earned, on five hits with two walks and 4 K’s. Jean Segura’s error allowed the floodgates to open, but this was the second straight start in which Suárez’s command failed him at critical moments against a lesser team.
Sanchez put the final nails in the coffin of a 7-0 lead that Suárez and Segura jeopardized. He entered the game with the score now at 7-6 and got out of the fourth inning, but then Sanchez went on to be charged with 5 earned runs after recording just 2 outs. He too struggled with command, as he walked back-to-back batters after a leadoff double and then hit a batter with one out and the bases loaded to tie the game.
Bellatti allowed many of the runs that were charged to Sanchez’ line in that game, but he too has struggled mightily of late. In nine appearances since the start of August, Bellatti has a 6.48 ERA in 8.1 IP. He’s allowed 10 hits over that span with six walks. Bellatti is usually one of the last men out of the bullpen, but the Phillies recent injuries have forced him into more high leverage situations at the same time his early season success is wearing off.
Playing in Chase Field
The Phillies seem to completely forget how to play baseball once they enter Arizona. Since the start of 2021, they are 1-5 against the Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Philadelphia’s pitching staff has an ERA of 6.43 in those games. Their offense looks better with 34 runs scored and a batting line of .245/.331/.385, but if you remove Wednesday’s 18-2 win, those numbers fall to 16 runs scored and a batting line of .182/.268/.314.