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 one is pretty obvious. Williams’ walk-off home run against the Braves seemingly energized a club that looked lifeless. Well, at least for a few days, as the home run kicked off a string of three straight walk-off wins. The 24-year-old is 6-15 so far in his young career including that memorable homer.
Luke Williams’ walk-off might’ve been the most dramatic, but Jean Segura has provided three game-ending hits of his own this season, including two from the aforementioned streak. Segura has been the most consistent hitter on the Phillies the entire season, as his average of .332, ranking fifth best in baseball, would indicate. He has produced no matter where he is in the lineup, with an average of at least .315 in each spot he has at least five plate appearances. Segura was hitting .387 over the last week before leaving Tuesday’s game with the Dodgers due to a groin injury.
All of a sudden, Bohm has started to find his swing. He’s hitting .400 over the last week and .288 over his last fifteen games. In fact, Bohm is hitting .359 as a whole in the month of June. The most encouraging sign besides his hitting is that his strikeout rate has dropped from 27.8% entering June to 22.5% in June. Bohm is starting to make more contact and the balls he does hit are not finding gloves at an abnormal rate as they did at times early on.
Nola has had his share of inconsistency this season, but his last start looked like what one could expect from him. Nola totally dominated the New York Yankees, going 7 ⅔ scoreless with three hits and nine strikeouts with just one walk. His curveball looked much more effective than it did in previous starts, generating eight swings and misses and five called strikes on 37 pitches thrown.
There was a reason the Phillies were in position to win three walk-offs in a row. Neris allowed a solo home run to Freddie Freeman which gave the Braves a 1-0 lead in the game Luke Williams played hero. It was just Freeman’s second career hit off Neris in 21 plate appearances. Then in his next appearance, Neris had a disaster of an outing in which he allowed three runs on a home run and two walks to blow a 7-4 lead. Segura’s heroics bailed him out after that. Neris has been overall good this season, but his career high walk rate from 2020 seems to have carried over. He walked 12.6% of batters he faced in 2020 and has walked 10.3% so far this year.
Hoskins is now colder than cold after his 12 game hitting streak came to a close. He is currently mired in an 0-33 slump, three at bats shy of tying the franchise record for a non-pitcher. Over that span, Hoskins has four walks to eight strikeouts. He has had numerous pop-ups that are either caught by the catcher or one of the infielders. Hoskins will most likely snap out of this cold spell, but with injuries once again racking up, the Phillies can’t afford to wait long.
Speaking of injuries, Harper once again left a game with the same lower back tightness that plagued him near the end of last season. Harper and the Phillies have said that it’s manageable, but he has played in 47 of a possible 65 games this season. To be fair, not all of those games missed are because of the back, as Harper was placed on the IL with a forearm contusion related back to when he was hit in the face. But, the point stands that the Phillies need a healthy and productive Harper if they want to make up ground in the division.
Hitting with RISP
The Phillies are 2-20 so far with runners in scoring position so far through two games of their west coast road trip. That isn’t going to be good enough to beat the reigning World Series champions and the team with the best record in the National League.
West Coast Road Trips
10 P.M. start times should be classified as cruel and unusual punishment and thus outlawed by the Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.