Monday, July 31, 2017

Here's a shocking number about the Phillies, they're playing .500 baseball since June 22

On June 22, the Phillies fell to 22-48. It seemed like the Phillies were on track for a monumentally bad season. They were amid a stretch of brutal baseball that culminated in an 11-37 mark. The fact they'd started the season 11-11 was a distant memory.

It was the game Tommy Pham homered off Hector Neris in the ninth inning, then Edubray Ramos botched a pick-off throw that led a run to score.
It seemed to be the most 2017 Phillies game of 2017. The absolute Nadir.

Yeah, it was an ugly night.

I don't know if something happened after that 7-6 loss in extra innings. I don't know if something need to happen for what happened next, but what happened next is absolutely absurd. It's so bonkers to the wall nuts that no one has seemed to notice.

In the 32 games since, the Phillies are 16-16. You read that right. They've played .500 baseball for a full fifth of a season.

I wouldn't have believed it either if I hadn't looked it up.

What's interesting is what's happened on the field since then*.

-- Despite all the histrionics about his bat-flips and how he supposedly doesn't pay attention, is lazy and doesn't play the game right, Odubel Herrera has been playing some fantastic baseball. He's hitting .336/.398/.561 in 31 games with 5 home runs, 16 runs scored and 11 runs batted in.

-- Nick Williams' .277/.320/.511 mark is a huge improvement over what Michael Saunders was "producing."

-- The catchers have been on absolute fire. Cameron Rupp is hitting .321/.400/.600 with five home runs in 16 games. Andrew Knapp is hitting .296/.426/.370 in 17 games.

-- Cesar Hernandez came back to midway through this stretch and is hitting .320/.407/.440.

-- Aaron Altherr has crushed it, hitting .338/.413/.662 with four home runs in 21 games.

All in all, the Phillies have averaged 4.5 runs per game during the stretch. And the pitching was as impressive, giving up 3.9 runs per game.

Of course, the staff has been led by Aaron Nola. The right-hander is 5-1 with a 1.49 ERA in that stretch, including 60 strikeouts against 14 walks in 48 frames. Vince Velasquez has just three starts because he was on the DL for so long, but he has a 2.41 ERA in those three games. Jerad Eickhoff is 2-0 with a 3.27 ERA in four starts.

The bullpen also saw some of its members improve. In 18 innings over 15 games, Luis Garcia has an absurd 0.49 ERA. Hector Neris has a nifty 1.62 ERA over 15 games.

* Through Sunday's games.

Does this mean the Phillies will play .500 baseball the rest of the way? I'm not certain of that. But the team should play better baseball. Much better than what we saw in May and June. And after July, that shouldn't shock us.


ripjgarcia said...

Riddle me this. You are in a 2-1 game . it's the 7th inning and you throw Leiter in there? WHAT?

GM-Carson said...

Garcia and Neris were likely unavailable due to Mackanin's overuse of the bullpen when unnecessary. This is my biggest gripe with him. He often pulls starting pitchers too soon, like when their pitch counts are reasonably under 100 and they've pitched effectively. For example, the most recent starts by Thompson and Pivetta. He does it a lot and it overexposes our poor relief pitchers.