Philadelphia Phillies Midseason Recap
Another year in which many thought the Phillies ought to be in the middle of the pack has them well in the hunt to win the NL East. Though the ballclub started out slow, it is now tied for second place and is three games behind Braves for the division lead.
After losing their opening series to the Miami Marlins, the Phillies didn't resume play until a week later due to an outbreak of COVID-19 cases within the organization. Once they returned to the field, the Phillies had a total of four doubleheaders to make up the games missed, with all taking place before the MLB announced its decision to play seven-inning doubleheaders for the remainder of the 2020 season.
Despite all of the chaos, the Phillies still find themselves at 15-15 despite a terrible start from their pitching staff. As a unit, the Phillies rank 27th in ERA, 26th in strikeouts and are tied for 7th in hits allowed.
Although most of these struggles have come from the bullpen, the rotation hasn’t been much better. Outside of ace Aaron Nola and newcomer Zach Wheeler, Jake Arrieta has had by far his worst season as a member of the team with an ERA of over six.
On the other hand, Zach Efin has been up-and-down, while newcomer Spencer Howard has had a rough first couple of starts as well.
Philadelphia's offense has kept it afloat, as it sits at or near the top ten in every major statistical category. The trio of Harper, Hoskins and Realmuto has proved what it could be capable of in the long-term.
Realmuto, an impending free agent, has been motivated by the many “Sign JT” signs outside of Citizens Bank Park, as he leads the team with nine home runs. The Phillies have also gotten great contributions from former Yankee Didi Gregorius and a fully healthy Andrew McCutchen, as they both rank high on team in batting average.
With half of their season remaining, the Phillies will play in four doubleheaders throughout the month of September. Most of these games will come against the Marlins, Mets and Nationals, with two separate series against each team. The Phillies will not face the division-leading Atlanta Braves the rest of the way.
Philadelphia made some moves before the trade deadline to help out its struggling bullpen, trading for former Brewer David Phelps and reuniting him with manager Joe Girardi from their days with the Yankees. If the pitching staff can remain stable, the Phillies offense should help the team get back into October for the first time since 2011.
Logan Bourandas is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email email@example.com.
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