After a 7-0 shutout loss to the St. Louis Cardinals (it's always the Cardinals) on June 10, the Phillies had a .314 winning percentage and were on-pace for 111 losses, which would tie the 1941 Phillies for the most losses in franchise history. Several months later, the Phillies will not even lose 100 games, came close to a winning record after the All-Star break, and finished with a better record than two teams.
The rebuild has begun and the results are showing. The Phillies outfield is already set with Altherr, Herrera, and Williams. Rhys Hoskins is the new first baseman and there is a better than average chance the Phillies will open with J.P. Crawford at shortstop. Jorge Alfaro will be the catcher.
Winning games in September oftentimes means very little as far as predicting success in the following season, but it means a lot in terms of building confidence as a team, determining roles for the next year, and creating some stability. The Phillies will not be looking to add any free agent position players, which shows just how different things are than they were a year ago.
The Phils did very little in September to build any confidence in the starting pitching, and they need major upgrades to be a winning team in 2018. The Phils will most likely buy a couple of hurlers, but unlike the one-year rentals of the past few years, the Phils are at the point in their rebuild that they can look at the next tier of starters – guys on two or three year contracts. That, along with healthy competition for the last two spots, might improve the pitching to the point that it won’t hold back the offense.
The guys in the bullpen have given much more reason for optimism than their starting teammates. The Phillies bullpen was tied for the fifth best ERA in the month of September. Hector Neris rebounded from a slow start, Luis Garcia was impressive, and Adam Morgan became a surprisingly reliable southpaw option.
Pete Mackanin won't be calling the shots in 2018, and most of his coaches will not either. It all adds up to what is likely to be an active offseason for the Phillies front office.
Forget about the future for now. Let’s just enjoy respectability, excitement, and anticipation for the first time in a long time.
Home record: 10-5
Road record: 5-8
Top winning streak: 3
Top losing streak: 3
Series record: 4-4-1
Began month: 60-73, 18 games behind 1st place Nationals & 7.5 games behind 3rd place Mets.
Finished month: 65-96, 32 games behind 1st place Nationals & 5 games behind 4th place Mets
***NOTE: These stats are accurate through September and do not include October stats.
Phillies Team Hitting September Totals
Average: .253 (7th)
Runs: 137 (5th)
Runs/game: 4.89 (5th)
HR: 31 (t-5th)
BB: 94 (8th)
SO: 250 (3rd most)
OBP: .325 (9th)
SLG: .398 (10th)
OPS .723 (8th)
Phillies Team Pitching September Totals
ERA: 3.89 (6th)
Phillies Starting Pitching September Totals
ERA: 6.49 (10th)
Phillies Relief Pitching September Totals
ERA: 2.75 (3rd)
Phillies Team Hitting Season Totals
Average: .249 (11th)
Runs: 679 (12th)
Runs/game: 4.22 (12th)
HR: 172 (12th)
BB: 487 (11th)
SO: 1,406 (4th most)
OBP: .314 (13th)
SLG: .408 (12th)
OPS .722 (12th)
Phillies Team Pitching Season Totals
ERA: 4.58 (10th)
Phillies Starting Pitching Season Totals
ERA: 4.83 (12th)
Phillies Relief Pitching Season Totals
ERA: 4.21 (7th)
@Miami Marlins August 31-September 3
(Phillies win series 3-1)
Game 1: Lively gave up 2 runs in six innings and drove in 2 in decisive 4th inning in 3-2 win.
Game 2: Pivetta struggeld in first but escaped with 1 run and allowed no more in 6 innings, while rbis from Alfaro and Blanco in 9th gave Phils 2-1 win. Juan Nicasio recorded one out in his Phillies debut to earn win.
Game 3: Marlins tagged Nola for 6 runs and 2 homers in 5 innings, and homers from Hoskins and Joseph, and late 5 run rally weren't enough in 10-9 loss. Florimon left after gruesome ankle injury and Hoskins left with sore hand.
Game 4: Jake Thompson delivered 6 innings of one run ball and Nick Williams' two run single in the 12 inning gave Phillies 3-1 win.
@New York Mets September 4-6
(Phillies lose series 1-2)
Game 1: Leiter allowed 9 runs in 3.1 innings and Phils score 7, but it wasn't enough in 11-7 loss.
Game 2: J.P. Crawford made MLB debut, Ben Lively allowed 1 run in 7 innings, hit two-run homer, and knocked in 4 as Phils rolled to 9-1 win.
Game 3: Mets scored 6 runs off Pivetta in 5 innings, and Williams' two-run homer in 6th wasn't enough and game was called after 6 innings in 6-3 loss.
@Washington Nationals September 7-10
(Phillies lose series 1-3)
Game 1: Phils took 3-1 lead with homers from Alfaro and Joseph, but a 3-run sixth against Nola and Morgan gave Nats 4-3 win.
Game 2: 3-run homer by Williams gave Phils 3-0 lead, but sloppy defense and an inside-the-park grand slam gave Nats 7-3 lead. Phils hit two more 3-run homers, but it wasn't enough in 11-10 loss.
Game 3: Hoskins and Franco homered, while Leiter allowed 4 runs in 6 innings and bullpen strong in 5-4 win.
Game 4: Lively scattered 6 hits in 8 innings, but 2 runs against was more than enough for Strasburg's 8 scoreless innings and rally came up short in 3-2 loss. They tied franchise record for most one-run losses.
MIAMI MARLINS September 12-14
(Phillies sweep series 3-0)
Game 1: Down 7-2, Phils scored 4 runs in 7th and 8th. Kim tied game with single in 9th and appeared to have walk-off run too, but call was overturned. Neris gave up run in 10th, but with bases empty and 2 outs, Hoskins hit 2nd homer to tie the game in 10th and Williams hit walk-off hit in 15th.
Game 2: Hoskins hit 17th homer in 33 games, Herrera homered, and Phils scored 10 runs for Nola, who struck out a career high 11 batters in 7 innings in 8-1 win.
Game 3: Phillies hit 3 homers, including Hoskins' 18th in 34 games and Thompson tossed 5.1 scoreless innings in 10-0 win.
OAKLAND ATHLETICS September 15-17
(Phillies lose series 1-2)
Game 1: Daniel Mengden shut down Phils with first career shutout, while Leiter allowed 4 runs in 6 innings in 4-0 loss.
Game 2: Rain shortened Lively's night to 3 innings with 2 runs, but Alfaro's 2-run homer broke tie and Phils won 5-3.
Game 3: Henderson Alvarez allowed 2 runs entering 6th in Phillies debut, but issued two baserunners before Ramos allowed grand slam in 6-3 loss.
LOS ANGELES DODGERS September 18-21
(Phillies win series 3-1)
Game 1: Pivetta allowed 2 straight homers (one inside the park) in first, but settled down and allowed nothing else in 6 innings, while Aaron Altherr hit first ever grand slam off Kershaw in 4-2 win.
Game 2: Nola allows 2 runs in 7 innings and Hoskins hit 3-run double in 7th to give Phils lead and finished with 4 RBI in 6-2 win.
Game 3: Altherr belted game tying 2-run homer in 7th and go ahead 2-run single as Phils win third straight against Dodgers.
Game 4: Leiter with strong six innings and held lead in 6th, but Pinto allowed 2 runs in seventh and couldn't complete sweep of MLB's best team in 5-4 loss.
@Atlanta Braves September 22-24
(Phillies lose series 1-2)
Game 1: First six Braves recorded hits and Braves scored 5 runs in first. Phils unable to recover in 7-2 loss.
Game 2: Phils led 2-0 after five shutout innings from Alvarez, but Braves scored 1 in the 6th and three times in 8th in 4-2 loss.
Game 3: Pivetta delivers 6 shutout innings and Franco’s solo homer and Alterr’s RBI double all Phils needed in 2-0 win.
WASHINGTON NATIONALS September 25-27
(Phillies win series 2-1)
Game 1: Nola allowed just 2 runs in 6 innings, but Phils scored just once on Herrera homer in 3-1 loss.
Game 2: Rupp's knocked in 2 in 3-run 3rd, Thompson allowed 1 run in 5 innings, and bullpen tossed 4 scoreless in 4-1 win. Phils avoid 100 losses with win.
Game 3: Leiter struggled with 5 runs in 4.1 innings, but 2-run double by Alfaro and 2-run triple by Altherr helped Phils to 7-5 win.
METS September 29-October 1
(Phillies split first two games of three-game series 1-1)
Game 1: Pete Mackanin fired before game but remained as manager, and watched homers by Franco, Alfaro, and Hernandez, with 2 runs in 6 innings from Lively in 6-2 win.
Game 2: Franco homered, and Hoskins tied the game at 4 in the 7th, but Morgan allowed a 3-run homer in the 11th in 7-4 loss.
September 5 - J.P. Crawford made MLB debut, Ben Lively allowed 1 run in 7 innings, hit two-run homer, and knocked in 4 as Phils rolled to 9-1 win.
September 6 - Phillies traded Juan Nicasio to the Cardinals for Eliezer Alvarez.
September 12 - Down 7-2, Phils scored 4 runs in 7th and 8th. Kim tied game with single in 9th and appeared to have walk-off run too, but call was overturned. Neris gave up run in 10th, but with bases empty and 2 outs, Hoskins hit 2nd homer to tie the game in 10th and Williams hit walk-off hit in 15th.
September 14 - Rhys Hoskins hit his 18th home run and became the fastest player in MLB history to hit 18 homers, needing only 34 games to do it.
September 19 - Tom Eshelman and Scott Kingery win Paul Owens Award.
September 20 - Altherr belted game tying 2-run homer in 7th and go ahead 2-run single as Phils win third straight against Dodgers.
September 26 - Rupp's knocked in 2 in 3-run 3rd, Thompson allowed 1 run in 5 innings, and bullpen tossed 4 scoreless in 4-1 win. Phils avoid 100 losses with win.
September 29 - Pete Mackanin fired as manager to be special assistant to GM in 2018.