Phillies 2018 Record: 29-21
2nd Place in NL East, .5 game back of 1st place Braves
5-5 in their last 10 games
It's on to the west coast for the Phils for a tough ten game road trip against the Dodgers, Giants, and Cubs.
It's been a struggle for the offense lately. In the last six games, they have scored 3.2 runs per game. It also shows how solid the pitching has been, considering the Phillies won half of those games. Over that same six-game span, the pitching has allowed 2.5 runs per game.
A big reason the Phillies haven't been scoring is because Odubel Herrera has cooled off lately. He's hitting .200 over his last 7 games with no walks and 7 strikeouts, dropping his average to 4th best in the league at .331. It's the first hiccup in a truly amazing season. Herrera is the best hitter on this team, and you can see how the team struggles when he is not hitting. The leader board shows that despite a minor rough patch, Herrera still leads the team in all of the major rate categories.
Rhys Hoskins is close to dropping off the leader board completely. It has been an awful .
His numbers are hard to look at: a triple slash of .234/.367/.415 with an OPS of .782. In his last 25 games he is hitting .220 with 2 homers and 9 RBI. He has 12 walks and 33 strikeouts during that time frame.
He joins a large group of Phillies with low batting averages.
Altherr - .194
Santana - .207
Kingery - .221
Hoskins - .234
Williams - .237
Alfaro - .238
Not to mention Crawford's .188 average and Knapp's .154 average.
Even the normally stable Cesar Hernandez is hitting just .263.
Frankly, it is hard to believe there are 8 MLB teams with worse team batting averages that the Phillies .236 mark. One big reason besides the pitching that the Phillies remain afloat is that they have the third most walks in baseball (200).
The pitching has been a different story. We keep waiting for a starter to stumble and it really hasn't happened. The Phillies' 3.33 ERA among their startes is the fifth best in baseball. Just look at these ERA's:
Nola - 2.27
Arrieta - 2.45
Pivetta - 3.26
Velasquez - 4.18
Eflin - 3.27
Speaking of amazing, Sir Anthony Dominguez deserves to be knighted for his performance this season. Appearing in some of the most pressurized situations, Dominguez has allowed just 2 hits, still hasn't issued a free pass, and has 10 strikeouts in 10 1/3 innings. His WHIP is 0.19. Credit the Phillies for converting him to a reliever to get him to The Show quickly, and credit Dominguez for crushing everything.
Until next week...enjoy your Memorial Day and don't forget the men and women who gave their lives so we can enjoy Phillies baseball in this amazing country.
Odubel Herrera has been outstanding this season. He has reached base in every game, he is tied for second in the league with a .333 average, along with 7 doubles, 11 extra base hits, and superb defense. Fans get on him for his boneheaded plays, but Herrera is still a tremendous baseball player and a key part of the success of this ball club.
Rhys Hoskins is still in a funk, and he has dropped off a couple of the leader categories. His overall numbers are still very good: triple slash of .282/.429/.509 and an OPS of .938. He has delivered a few nice hits, but he is batting .160 in the last seven days with 11 strikeouts in 25 at-bats. Hoskins has given us no reason to believe this is anything more than a slump, though.
Maikel Franco is quietly performing at a very high level. His average is up to .283 (ahead of Hoskins now) and his home runs and RBI both lead the team. That RBI total means something. Unlike recent years where he batted in the cleanup spot almost every night, he has been batting sixth or lower most of the time where RBI chances aren't as plentiful. More importantly, he looks much more poised than in the past. He is taking pitches the other way, seems to be seeing pitches better, and he rarely takes those wild hacks that had almost become his trademark.
Aaron Nola is just unbelievable. His 6.90 strikeout rate isn't all that impressive, but he is inducing weak contact and simply pitching like an ace. Batters are hitting .196 off him, he has a 0.92 WHIP, and he is still limiting walks at a rate of 2.17 per nine. Overall, his 2.17 ERA is good enough for 7th in the National League.
Jake Arrieta is exactly what the Phillies hoped he would be. Scherzer grabbed the headlines yesterday, but you could argue Arrieta's efficiency made him the better pitcher. His movement is spectacular, his velocity is fine, and he has a strong presence in this club house.
Let's not ignore how impressive Drew Hutchison has been. He sports a 2.76 ERA in 16 1/3 innings this season and he has really saved some of those arms in the bullpen. With Mark Leiter out, Hutchison has stepped in nicely.
Now let's get to it. Here are the leaders after game number 33.
Phillies Current Team Hitting Leaders (minimum 30 at-bats)
Average: Herrera (.331)
OBP: Herrera (.396)
SLG: Herrera (.519)
OPS: Herrera (.915)
HR: Santana (9)
RBI: Santana (32)
Runs: Hernandez (35)
Extra-base hits: Santana (21)
BB: Hoskins (34)
SO: Hoskins (58)
SB: Hernandez (9)
Phillies Current Team Starting Pitching Leaders (minimum 5 starts)
ERA: Nola (2.27)
IP: Nola (71.1)
Wins: Nola (6)
WHIP: Nola (0.98)
Strikeouts: Nola/Pivetta (67)
Phillies Current Team Bullpen Leaders (minimum 9 appearances)
ERA: Dominguez (0.00)
IP: Garcia (21.2)
WHIP: Arano (0.19)
Strikeouts: Neris (25)
Games: Garcia (26)
Saves: Neris (9)
Holds: Garcia (9)