Since starting the 2018 MLB season 1-4, the Philadelphia Phillies have been playing their best baseball winning 13 of their last 16 games including sweeps against the Pittsburg Pirates, Cincinnati Reds, and Tampa Bay Rays. This afternoon ended the 4 game matchup between the Bucs and the Phils ending in walk-off fashion from outfielder Aaron Altherr. Altherr is an example of how the Phillies’ production throughout this stretch has come from multiple different sources. Through the first 21 games of the season, the Phillies are 14-7 and sit in second place in the NL East, half a game behind the New York Mets.
As mentioned, the Phillies offensive production has come from a variety of different players. Batting the best for the Phils right now is left fielder Rhys Hoskins who’s batting just over .320 and has knocked in 19 RBIs which is tied for second in the NL. Hoskins also leads the Phillies with 4 home runs. The Phillies infield has had a strong plate presence throughout the beginning of the season with 5 infielders hitting 2 HRs this season scoring the 8th most runs in the league.
While the strong offensive output from the Phillies has helped to win close games, the biggest reasoning behind this phenomenal run is the defense and pitching. In their last 16 games the Phils have only given up an average of 2 runs per game and sit at 5th best in ERA rankings in the MLB. Surprisingly, the Phillies’ pitching staff has not been mowing opposing batters down with strikeouts (171 18th in MLB), they’ve found very good defense by not making and errors in the field.
Looking forward, the Phillies will host a good Diamondbacks team who lead the NL West by 4 games. In order to continue this strong sequence of games, the Phillies will look for more offensive production from veteran Carlos Santana. Santana is being a paid a lot of money to bat .151. Despite being so early in the season, this stretch by the Phillies shows themselves and the fans what to expect, gone are the rebuilding days and along with all the other Philadelphia teams, its time to welcome in an era of winning.