Baseball season is long. It’s a season full of peaks and valleys, hot streaks and cold streaks. Who’s hitting, who’s slumping, who deserves more playing time, who needs to sit. All of these and more are common questions during the slog of a 162 game season. Here we’ll quickly break down some storylines and player performances to get a better picture of what is happening with the Phillies on a weekly basis.
Harper has been hitting well since June, but he has really turned it on in July and especially since the All-Star Break. Since the Phillies resumed play on July 16th, Harper is hitting .378 with an eye-popping 1.142 OPS. That average is the seventh best in baseball and the OPS is twelfth during that span. Also, Harper has been flashing some speed, stealing four bases in the last week and hitting his first inside-the-park home run on Tuesday.
McCutchen has also been hitting well since the break, owning a .308 AVG and a 1.117 OPS in his 12 games played. He also hit a three run walk-off home run on Monday, turning a frustrating 5-3 deficit in the ninth to a win. McCutchen now has 39 career home runs with the Phillies. Of those, 20 have either tied the game or given the Phillies the lead.
Bradley has settled in in the month of July. The right hander has a 0.90 ERA in 11 innings pitched in the month. His batting line against is equally impressive, sitting at .216/.293/.216. In fact, going back to the beginning of June, Bradley has a 2.11 across 21 appearances. The only knock is he is still walking more hitters than he strikes out, with 11 walks to 9 K’s over that span.
Hoskins has been an extra base hit machine this season, as he now has 49 on the season. That number is good for third among all Major League first basemen, trailing only Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (51) and Matt Olson (50). Hoskins has 16 extra base hits in 21 games since the start of July, making him the team leader in that span. It’s no coincidence he also leads the team in RBIs in July with 18.
Realmuto’s post All-Star game hot streak has come to a screeching halt, as he is just 4 for his last 30 in the last week. He also has eight punchouts to just one walk over that span and is 0 for 6 with 3 K’s with runners in scoring position. Realmuto hasn’t been providing much offense of late despite being sandwiched between two of the Phillies hottest hitters in Jean Segura and Bryce Harper.
Hitting with RISP
The Phillies are 7 for their last 89 plate appearances in runners in scoring position over the last week. They have stranded 58 runners on base over that span. Their 6-8 hitters have been particularly, hitting just .087 in 23 opportunities.
Gregorious continues to struggle at the plate, hitting just .118 over his last 30 games with 24 strikeouts to 9 walks. He also made two more defensive miscues In Tuesday’s 6-4 loss that led to a pair of three-run home runs. With Ronald Torreyes still hitting (.300 in July) and Alec Bohm returning from the COVID IL, Gregorious should start to see his playing time cut. He is a massive liability in the field and at the plate right now.
The Phillies rotation
Speaking of liabilities, the Phillies are currently operating with one reliable starter, namely Zack Wheeler. Aaron Nola was dominant in his last start, but still has a 4.37 ERA and has struggled getting deep into games. Zach Eflin has not yet returned from the injured list after he was placed on it with patella tendonitis on July 20th. Bailey Falter has not returned from being placed on the COVID IL for the second time this month. This has led to Matt Moore and Vince Velasquez pitching to a 13.14 ERA in three combined starts totaling just 12 ⅓ innings. The Phillies desperately need innings out of their rotation to ease the growing strain on their maligned bullpen.
Good News! The Phillies traded for a reliable innings eater and…wait…hold on.