Phillies Won’t Miss April

The Phillies can finish April no better than 11-12 with a victory tonight against the Cubs.

They will finish April with a losing record for the first time since 2007, when they finished 11-14.

Honestly, the more I think about it, the more surprised (impressed?) I am they can finish April only one game under .500, considering how bad the offense has been. The Phillies are 14th in the National League in on-base percentage (.288), 12th in slugging percentage (.346) and 14th in runs per game average (3.18). Those are some historically awful numbers. No team has finished a complete season with a lower on-base percentage since the 1972 Padres (.283), a lower slugging percentage since the 1992 Dodgers (.339) and 1992 Mets (.342) and a lower runs per game average since the 1971 Padres (3.02).


Following tonight’s game, the Phillies will have played eight of their last 11 games against the two worst teams in the National League: the Padres and Cubs. Even if the Phillies win tonight they will be just 6-5 in that stretch. That’s not good, especially because they hit the road this week to play two teams tied for the second-best record in the league: the Braves and Nationals.

At this point fans would be thrilled with a 3-3 road trip.

But that means the Phillies will have to hit. They stand their best chance against the Braves, whose starters rank 12th in the league with a 4.09 ERA. Of course, the Braves counter that with the best offense in the league, averaging 5.19 runs per game. (Can you imagine the Phillies with that type of offensive production?) Nationals starters are just crushing the opposition. They lead the league with a 1.78 ERA. Opponents are hitting just .178 against them. They have a 0.89 WHIP.

Anybody care to give an over/under on runs scored in that series? The Nationals aren’t scoring much more than the Phillies. They’re 12th in the league, averaging 3.36 runs per game.


Hardball Times evaluates Charlie Manuel.


Jim Salisbury and I co-authored the book The Rotation, which is now available. Check it out here! Here are our upcoming book signings:

  • May 10: Tredyfrrin Public Library in Stafford, PA, 7:30 p.m.
  • June 2: Citizens Bank Park, 3:00 – 4:00 p.m.

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even though they usually own the Braves, the Braves are a notoriously fast starter. The Nats are playing out of their minds. If they go 2-4 I’ll be surprised.

At least they got out of April with a win, although they made us sweat it out.

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