The Philadelphia Phillies currently sit at 28-29 and 9 games back of the Mets for the NL East division lead and not just that, the Fightins are only 2.5 games behind the Giants & Braves who are tied for the third NL wild card spot. The Phillies are only one game away from.500 and even though they didn’t start the season incredibly well, they still have over 100 games remaining to make up for it.
I don’t even know where to start. The day after I wrote my last blog, Joe Girardi was fired as manager of the Phillies. Then the Phils decided to live up to the potential we’ve all been talking about since Spring Training and after Girardi was fired the Phillies are 6-0 and are riding high with seven straight wins overall. Sure, three of those wins came from the Angels, who just snapped a 14-game losing streak last night, but the Phillies just swept the NL Central-leading Brewers, on the road might I add. This is just not the same team at all. The vibes are high, the young guys are playing and succeeding. I stand by what I said in last week’s blog, firing Girardi was not a necessary move, it was never his fault but without him, the spirits of the team are the highest they’ve been in a long time.
We have a couple of guys to thank for this stretch, mostly our MVP Bryce Harper who can’t seem to cool off as he is likely headed to his first All-Star game in a Phillies uniform. Harper is ON FIRE, now hitting .308 (BA), 15 HRs, 45 RBIs, and an OPS of 1.001 on the season. In his last seven games, he’s hitting .333 with FIVE home runs, 13 RBIs, and nine hits in 27 at-bats, this may be early but Mr. Harper could be on his way to yet another MVP season if he keeps it up *knocks on wood* but the beauty of this season is we don’t need Bryce to go Super-Saiyan to get to the postseason. Harper has had help from his Spring training roommate and fellow Las Vegas native, Bryson Stott who is really coming into his own. It’s really weird what happens when you play your young guys consistently huh. Stotty’s numbers for the season overall aren’t great but in his last seven games, he’s hitting.346 (BA) with 3 HRs, 9 RBIs, and nine hits in his last 26 at-bats. The Phils are sorely missing Jean Segura and Johan Camargo to injury but it has allowed Stott to consistently get playing time. Hopefully, interim manager Rob Thomson will find a role for Bryson as the team gets healthy.
Finally, the last guy who deserves praise is Kyle Schwarber. Sorry, June Kyle Schwarber that is. June Schwarber is a MONSTER. In his last seven games, he has a .357 (BA), 4 HRs, 8 RBIs, 10 runs, and 10 hits in 28 at-bats. Schwarber and Harper lead the team tied at 15 home runs, which is also tied for fifth in all of baseball and both are only one home run off the NL leaders (Betts and Alonso). Schwarber has been a key piece in Philly’s winning ways. He has been a great leadoff hitter, we should still look for a better one to help balance the lineup out before the trade deadline, and so far has been the best offseason addition (Castellanos will improve, especially when Harper can return to RF and Nick can focus on being DH).
The Phillies are certainly headed in the right direction and their upcoming stretch could turn the season around. They have a nice homestand that will begin tonight with the Diamondbacks for a three-game series then the Miami Marlins come to Philly for another three-game series followed by a road trip to DC and Arlington, Texas. Now is as good of a time as any to hop on the Phillies bandwagon so to all the haters, hop on or get out of the way.