Phillies Fans Already Looking to October

by Marc Narducci | May 31, 2024
Phillies Fans Already Looking to October
Philadelphia sports fans can never feel comfortable. 
The Phillies’ sizzling start has been met with so many fans stating how worried they are that this might not be sustained in October. 
The past two seasons at this time, the chance of playing in October was far from a sure thing. This year it would take the biggest collapse in Philadelphia sports history not to have the Phillies in the playoffs.
The Phillies had been unbeaten in 15 straight series, winning 11 and tying four, before losing two of three games in Colorado. 
The Phillies began the week with the best record in baseball and what has to be comforting to the fans is that several players are not off to the greatest of starts. 
For instance, to begin the week, Nick Castellanos was batting .202. While batting average doesn’t tell the entire story of a player’s offensive contribution, it often is an indication if a player is consistently contributing. 
In addition, Bryson Stott, who appeared to take that next step to All-Star status, began the week hitting .258.
After a sizzling start, Brandon Marsh has come back to the pack. 

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Johan Rojas has struggled all season offensively. Whit Merrifield, who was acquired to be a super sub, was batting below the Mendoza line (.200). 
Remember, Trea Turner has appeared in only 33 games. He was playing at an All-Star level before suffering his hamstring injury. 
The point is, the Phillies have gotten off to such an impressive start, playing at a .700 clip and many of their offensive players aren’t meeting expectations. 
That’s a signal that the Phillies actually could improve. 
As for the offensive players, Bryce Harper, J.T. Realmuto and Alec Bohm are having All-Star-like performances. 
Harper started slowly, but has heated up, with an OPS above .900 to begin the week. 
Kyle Schwarber has continued to hit for a high average, but he remains an on base machine. Still, he has stuck out once every 2.7 at bats, which isn’t ideal for a leadoff hitter, but his power is a major threat.
As for pitching, the top three of Zack Wheeler, Aaron Nola and Ranger Suarez, are all performing at an All-Star level.
Cristopher Sanchez has been a better than solid No. 4 pitcher. The jury is still out on Taijuan Walker, but teams could do worse than having him as a fifth starter. 
The bullpen has been strong, although Seranthony Dominguez and Gregory Soto have to be more consistent to deserve a role in October. 
So despite their outstanding play in the first two months, the Phillies have plenty of areas to improve. 
The whole key for a successful postseason is for the pitching staff to stay healthy. 
If that happens, the Phillies have as good a chance as anybody. 
For now, the dominance has been impressive. Phillies fans should enjoy what they are seeing now and worry about October in October.
Photo: Alec Bohm and Brandon Marsh of the Phillies / Marc Narducci


Author: Marc Narducci


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