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.
Well, it appears getting his eyes checked worked wonders. McCutchen is hitting .292 over the last week with a 1.054 OPS. He has three home runs over that span as well, including his first two home run game since 2017. McCutchen has begun to put better contact on pitches, although his K% is still way up. Regardless, McCutchen fighting back against Father Time is a huge development and a much needed spark.
Bohm was the other important piece of the Phillies lineup that was off to a rough start. Like McCutchen, he too has begun to shake off his struggles. Bohm is hitting .296 with a .740 OPS over the last week. The power numbers haven’t come quite just yet (just three doubles and three home runs) but Bohm is finally starting to see his hard hit balls land for base hits. He is sixth in baseball in hard hit batted balls with 44.
Yes, he never makes it easy. And yes, he is probably better off as a set-up man. But, Hector Neris has been solid for a Phillies bullpen that has overall struggled after seeing Archie Bradley and Jose Alvarado miss various amounts of time. Neris’ ERA after his five-out save is now down to 1.18 on the season in 14 ⅓ innings pitched in 15 games. Neris’ six saves place him 11th in the category across all of baseball and he has been credited with just one blown save. He has appeared in exactly half of the Phillies games this season and has been arguably their most consistent reliever, despite being far from the ideal closer.
Velasquez pitched six innings while allowing one run on Monday. It was just the third time since 2019 he pitched at least six innings while allowing one or less runs and just the 14th time in 63 starts since 2018 he pitched at least six innings. In seven starts dating back to September 1st of last year, Velasquez has a 4.32 ERA and is averaging just under five innings pitched.
Quinn set the bar ridiculously low, but he gets some credit for starting to show a pulse. Of course he was placed on the IL today with stitches in his finger, but he was 4 for his last 14 with two triples and two RBIs.
The Phillies have played 30 games. 14 of them have been decided by one run. They are 9-6 in those games. 21 have been decided by three runs or less. They are 12-9 in those games. This team has seen its fair share of nail-biters through the first little over a month of the season. To their credit, they are over .500 in those close games despite being 15-15 overall.
Bryce Harper’s face
There’s no way to sugar coat this: Girardi has been awful so far. The latest mishap was when Enyel De Los Santos had to be removed from a game because he was not on the lineup card. That mistake was fresh off the heels of an error-filled debacle on Sunday Night Baseball. There’s no clear answer to the question “What has Joe Girardi done well?” this season. However, the most damning thing Girardi has been involved in is the rostering of David Hale and Ronald Torreyes. Both are former Yankees Girardi has an affinity for that have contributed absolutely nothing to this team. Neither of these players belong on a MLB team and it appears they are only here because they have the favor of the manager.
Hale needed his own paragraph. His 6.57 ERA is seventh worst among National League relievers with at least ten innings pitched. Hale has been used way too often, appearing in nine games and throwing 12 ⅓ innings. Those 12 ⅓ innings are the third most among Phillies relievers, just two behind Hector Neris and 2 ⅓ behind Sam Coonrod. Hale had to be pulled on Tuesday night with a five run lead because he allowed two hits and hit a batter without recording an out. If Hale can’t be trusted to get outs with a five run lead, then why is he here? He certainly shouldn’t have the third most innings out of the bullpen.
Hoskins’ streaky nature has shifted back towards cold, as he is hitting just .200 over his last seven and .224 over his last 15 games. His OBP of .286 has stayed the same over both spans, but his slugging dropped from .552 over his last 15 to just .240 over his last seven. His defensive gaffe on Sunday night allowed the tying run to score without even a throw home.
The Phillies bullpen ERA on April 18 was 4.41. That was the day before Jose Alvarado landed on the COVID list, marking the first time neither he or Archie Bradley were available. Bradley has been on the injured list since April 11th with an oblique strain. Since April 19th, the Phillies have a 6.08 bullpen ERA, good for fifth worst in that span. Their ERA sits at 5.13 for the year, sixth worst in the Majors. The Phillies desperately need both Bradley and Alvarado to be healthy, available, and effective, because they do not currently have the depth to sustain their absence.
Joyce is hitting .100 with an OPS of .423 on the season. He is 0 for his last 15 and just 3 for 30 overall. Joyce was placed on the IL on Wednesday with a calf strain and its hard to justify him getting his roster spot back.
Bryce Harper’s wrist
lol one of the worst calls in major league history ? pic.twitter.com/jZfzYRAvYR— Thiago (@TScabbia) May 2, 2021