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.
This is arguably the best Harper has looked since joining the Phillies. His average is up to .357 and his OPS is up to 1.118. He’s hitting .458 over the last week with two home runs and four RBIs. Harper is locked in and on balance at the plate and it’s resulting in line drives hit to center and left field. That is key when Harper is really on. His game tying home run against the Giants on Wednesday was the catalyst to the win after the Phillies bullpen blew a 4-1 lead.
Segura was also one of the team’s hottest hitters before landing on the IL with a right quad strain. He was hitting .455 over his last week of games played with two RBIs and, most importantly, no strikeouts. When Segura is on he makes consistent contact and sprays the ball to all fields. Time will tell how many games he misses with the injury.
Nola could not have had much better of a bounce-back start after a 5 inning outing in which he allowed seven hits and three runs. The Phillies ace silenced doubts that he isn’t just that with a complete game shutout on Sunday, the first nine inning complete game of his career. It was just the fifth time since 2010 a Phillies pitcher pitched a complete game with 10 or more strikeouts and the first since the infamous Vince Velasquez 16 strikeout game in 2016.
Maton found his way onto the roster due to injuries to Didi Gregorious and Jean Segura as well as a slight COVID-19 outbreak on the Phillies. The 24-year-old rookie is 5-12 including a double to start his career and is playing very good defense at shortstop. Maton has shown enough to stick on the roster even when everyone is healthy, at the expense of Ronald Torreyes.
The Great Bamboo-ino has caught fire in limited playing time. Miller’s average is up to .368 on the year and is fresh off of a 4-5 day Wednesday. He’s 7 for his last 16 including a three-run home run.
It was reasonable to give Girardi a bit of a pass for last season considering the highly unusual nature and the construction of the bullpen. However, that slack should be gone now. Girardi has made numerous bad decisions, from leaving pitchers in too long to an almost fetish-like desire to double switch despite not having a bench to do so. The most egregious form of mismanagement came Tuesday night when he left a clearly off Connor Brogdon in the game despite allowing a three run home run. Brogdon did not have command at all and was serving up center cut pitches. He went on to allow another three-run home run in the same inning and threw 30 pitches before mercifully being pulled. Girardi leaving him out to dry resulted in a 6-4 game quickly becoming a 10-6 game. Girardi was outmanaged by Gabe Kapler in the Giants series whether you want to admit it or not.
Moore has allowed 12 runs, 17 hits, and 4 home runs in just 11 innings pitched through three starts. He made it out of the fourth inning in just one of those starts. The Phillies need to find a serviceable replacement for Moore in the rotation fast because he looks like a waste of $3M*.
*Carlos Rodon signed for the same price with the White Sox. He has allowed one run through three starts and threw a no-hitter in his second start
It’s too early in the season to totally write off McCutchen, but he has not looked good at all at the plate and has misplayed balls in the field. The 34-year-old is hitting just .164 through 18 games with a .588 OPS. He has 15 strikeouts in those 18 games. McCutchen is not making solid contact and is striking out at a high rate. The Phillies need McCutchen to produce out of the lead-off spot and set the table for the middle of their lineup. He has not done that so far.
Hoskins has cooled off in a big way since his hot start. His average is down to .239 and his OPS is at .735. He’s 6 for his last 29 with 11 K’s and just 2 walks in that span. His walk rate so far is just 4.3%, well short of his career average. It’s still very early, but Hoskins is not getting on base at the rate he usually does and that is exasperating his current hitting drought.
Bohm has been off to a slow start to his first full season, particularly so over the last week. He is just 4 for his last 24 with nine strikeouts in his last seven games. Bohm’s season average is down to .219. It is way too early and Bohm is too good of a hitter for his average to stay that low. His hard hit percentage and expected batting average suggest that Bohm has been squaring balls up but they haven’t really fallen for hits yet. However, Bohm is uncharacteristically striking out a ton. He has a 26.5 K% and a 25.4 Whiff percentage. Both of those mean Bohm is swinging and missing more than he usually does which will be something to keep an eye on.
We’ve pointed out some strong individual performers, but the Phillies offense as a whole has struggled as of late. The Phillies as a team are hitting .230 with runners in scoring position (17th in MLB) and are continuing to strikeout at a massive rate. Their strikeout percentage is still over 27% and they are averaging just under 10 punch outs per game. Their 64 total runs entering Wednesday’s game were the eighth lowest in baseball. The Phillies are built around their offense and they need to hit well in order to win games.