Before Memorial Day, the Phillies are 3 games below .500, 8 games back of the NL East Lead and just went 2-4 on a homestand. But watch this clip, and does any of that matter?
I mean, it still kinda does, right? Roman Quinn hitting a single, advancing to second and then scoring from there on an error shouldn't take away from the fact that this team just played 2+ games of lifeless baseball. So let's get onto the good, the bad and the who knows.
Zach Eflin - A career high 12 K's with just two runs allowed in 7 innings against maybe the best lineup in baseball? That'll do. Throughout the season Eflin has pitched to a 3.65 ERA, pitched into the 6th inning in 4 of his last 5, and is holding opposing batters to a .661 OPS, the lowest of his career. More of that, please.
Roman Quinn - He still can't really hit, but he just walked off a game with his speed and is one of the best defensive outfielders in baseball. I'll live with his struggles as a 9 hitter if he can do that.
Garrett Stubbs - Should be getting more playing time with JT Realmuto being currently unable to hit, field or base run currently. He won't hit .400 on the year but he's the prototypical backup catcher, and 10x more watchable than Andrew Knapp.
Aaron Nola - If you can't execute with two strikes and/or two outs for two straight years, it stops becoming bad luck and starts becoming frustrating pretty quickly.
Bryson Stott - He has a good eye behind the plate, but he just can't hit major league pitching right now. In Game 2, he saw 10 straight fastballs over two at bats, none faster than 94 mph and went 0-2 with a swinging strikeout.
Every Phillies Hitter that isn't Bryce Harper and Jean Segura - The Phillies wanted to throw out a deep lineup that could pick each other up, and make up for whatever expected struggles the bullpen or rotation had. But for most of the season all we've seen is inconsistent approaches, lifeless baseball and tantalizing flashes of excellence.
But looking up and down the lineup, we see Nick Castellanos isn't getting the hard contact he was last year. Schwarber isn't making enough contact at all. Rhys Hoskins was once in a deep slump and now has an OBP of .314. Even Alec Bohm stopped walking and has regressed back to right above league average at the plate. And JT Realmuto started slow and continued to get worse, now with a 78 wRC+, which is simply inexcusable for a player with his contract.
Like most teams, the wins will come when the runs do but when a team bets this big on scoring and still can't do it, that's pretty damning of the organization as a whole and their functionality. But they signed Bryce Harper, so the ball parks will be full and no changes will be made until they truly implode or somehow stop turning a profit.
The Phillies travel to Atlanta for a four game series against the 3rd place Braves, starting Monday night at 7:20 PM.