Phillies 2018 Record: 46-37
2nd Place in NL East, 2.5 games back of 1st place Braves
6-4 in their last 10 games
After finishing .500 in their toughest stretch of the season, the Phils did what they needed to do last night and beat an inferior team in the Baltimore Orioles. With 20 of the next 23 games against losing teams, and the Phillies down by 2.5 games in the division, now is their time to make a push towards taking that top spot.
Odubel Herrera is the streakiest Phillies hitter I can remember. He went on that 45-game on base streak early in the season. He then went ice cold for a month and from May 17 to June 12 his average dropped from .361 to .283. Then he woke up and went on a 5-game tear, hitting .591 (13-for-22) with homers in all five games. Since June 22, it's been back to the freezer for Herrera. He has 4 hits in his last 42 (.095), dropping his average to .280, lower than it was after his first rough patch. Streaky hitters are generally not healthy for a baseball team, but you can still bank on solid numbers at the end of the season.
Everyone wants the Mike Trouts of the world who are heads and shoulders above everyone else. But perhaps it is better for the team to have several players trying to compete to be the MVP of the team. If you follow the leader board every week, it's easy to see that those three players are Herrera, Hoskins, and Santana. They seem to each take their turn as the leader in the important offensive categories. Does that help explain why the Phillies continue to outperform their expectations?
On the pitching side, Nola continues to be Nola. With 10 wins and a 2.48 ERA, there is no doubt that he belongs on the 2018 All-Star team. It still seems crazy that a guy without a blazing fastball is striking out just a hair under 1 strikeout per inning (.98 to be exact).
The best I can say about Zach Eflin is that I wasn't 100% sure if his ERA was below Nola's. It's not, but a 2.97 ERA gives him a fighting chance at an All-Star nod. If this keeps up, Eflin could be the biggest positive to come out of this Phillies season.
There you have it - impress your friends with your Phillies knowledge on Independence Day. Time for the leader board after game number 83!
Phillies Current Team Hitting Leaders (minimum 60 at-bats)
Average: Herrera (.280)
OBP: Hernandez (.379)
SLG: Hoskins (.490)
OPS: Hoskins (.859)
HR: Herrera/Santana/Hoskins (14)
RBI: Hoskins (53)
Runs: Hernandez (58)
Extra-base hits: Hoskins (34)
BB: Santana (63)
SO: Alfaro (83)
SB: Hernandez (13)
Phillies Current Team Starting Pitching Leaders (minimum 6 starts)
ERA: Nola (2.48)
IP: Nola (109.0)
Wins: Nola (10)
WHIP: Nola (1.01)
Strikeouts: Nola/Velasquez (107)
Phillies Current Team Bullpen Leaders (minimum 9 appearances)
ERA: Ramos (1.24)
IP: Neris (30.0)
WHIP: Dominguez (0.73)
Strikeouts: Neris (41)
Games: Morgan (35)
Saves: Neris (10)
Holds: Hunter (15)