Can the Phillies Keep Winning?
I think the best answer is they can keep competing in more games than not, which is a drastic improvement from last season when Phillies fans flipped on the TV in the first or second inning only to see them losing by five or six runs. But, yes, it is unrealistic to expect them to maintain their current winning ways.
The Phillies have been outscored by 23 runs in 26 games. Their -0.9 run differential per game average ranks 23rd in baseball. Simply put, no team can expect to win over the course of a 162-game season with a run differential average like that.
It sounds stupid, but you have to outscore the other team to win.
In fact, only four teams in baseball history have made the postseason having been outscored in the regular season:
- 2007 Diamondbacks (-20)
- 1997 Giants (-9)
- 1987 Twins (-20)
- 1984 Royals (-13)
And the four of them were outscored by fewer than 23 runs over the course of a six-month schedule.
This post isn’t meant to bum you out, but to temper expectations. But here is the good news: the Phillies are playing a heck of a lot better than anybody expected. And that’s a good thing because if they continue to play like this the rest of the season it means the rebuild is on a faster pace than the front office probably thought. And that could mean a dip into the free agent market at some point. So while the Phillies’ offense hasn’t shown the ability to keep up with its pitching, the team has shown it has some legitimate pieces for its core (i.e. Vince Velasquez, Aaron Nola, Jerad Eickhoff, Maikel Franco, Odubel Herrera, etc.).