Turning Things Around?
The Phillies had two late-inning rallies the last two nights, which means I finally had something interesting to write about. As boring as most of April was for you, it was just as boring for me. It’s not fun writing different versions of the same story over and over. And it’s certainly not fun having to ask Charlie Manuel and the players different versions of the same questions over and over. They get tired of the questions. We get tired of asking them. But we know you want to know what’s on their minds, so we ask away.
The Phillies have won five of their last seven games. They are hitting .266/.312/.384 and averaging 4.6 runs per game in that stretch.
They might as well be the ’27 Yankees compared to the start of their season. The Phillies hit .243/.286/.334 and averaged 2.8 runs per game through their 7-10 start. The only stretch I recall that was more painful was that 12-game stretch May 22 – June 4, 2010, when they hit .197/.277/.274 and averaged 1.4 runs per game, getting shutout five times and never scoring more than three runs in any game.
So maybe the Phillies are getting back to normal. Although if everybody was saying you can’t judge an offense based on 17 games then you can’t say the offense is going to be fine based on seven games. Like Cole Hamels said in last night’s game story, “We still have a lot to do. Hitting-wise, we were able to get a lot of big hits. But we have to do it early on and keep putting the pressure on. We just can’t get a few runs, then score when things get tight again. We still need to run through what we’re capable of doing. From a pitching standpoint, we just have to minimize the damage. I know we have great pitchers, but we can’t take anything for granted. We have to keep plugging away. I still think we have a lot of work to do.”
Side note: Based on their last seven games, the Phillies now rank 12th in the league, averaging 3.33 runs per game. Those first-place Nationals? They’re tied with the Marlins for 13th, averaging 3.26 runs per game. I’m really looking forward to this weekend’s series in DC. It is a budding rivalry with the Nationals talking a little smack during Spring Training. There’s that whole Take Back the Park campaign. There’s Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper. Runs should be scarce. It should be fun.
I talked about The Rotation this week on Phillies Nation TV.
From Elias Sports Bureau: The Phillies had four hits against Jonny Venters last night. It was only the fourth time in 174 career games Venters allowed four or more hits.
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.