So, the Phillies have been going through a bug of some sort. The difference between last year’s success and this season is, in one word, inconsistent. Last year, the Phillies got hot at the right time. How they got to the World Series was something special here in the Delaware Valley. Staying consistent was their key to success last season. This year, consistency has been difficult on all aspects of the game. The question is, “Are the Phillies’ inconsistency woes going to be a problem come playoff time?”
Hitting Season was HUGE last year in the final months of the season. This season is no different for the Phightins. This includes the loss of a big bat like Rhys Hoskins early in Spring Training. This has been helped by players like Trea Turner, who has had by far the best second half of the season. Turner’s success goes back to his standing ovation in early August, with a batting average of .269 since that ovation. Turner has been on a tear ever since.
Let’s not forget Kyle Schwarber. Many give Schwarber flack for his low batting average. If it was not for the 40+ Home Runs with still a month to go, this team could be behind the eightball. But the key come October is to have the same level of success as they did in August into September and possibly even more so for the team going forward.
Aside from Zach Wheeler, the five starters in the rotation are either okay or aren’t as good as we thought they were. The problem is that it could hurt the Phillies chances come playoff time. Starting rotation matters the most come October. The structure of you set up your rotation after Wheeler is key.
It could be possible Aaron Nola could be your Game 2 starter, and it is a cause for concern. In the first four innings, he looks like an Ace. In the 5th Inning, he starts to struggle or sometimes implodes. After Nola, who do you put for that all-important Game 3, that is up for Skipper Rob Thomson comes in. Do you go with Suarez, Walker, or even Sanchez? This will be a critical decision early on.
Last season in the Playoffs, the Bullpen found their footing in a big way. But now the problem is that the bullpen isn’t as sharp, and it’s a worry for me. After the Phillies bats give them life, it always seems like the bullpen can’t be trusted. Now, towards the end of the season and October right around the corner, there is the possibility that the bullpen struggles would linger into the Postseason. So the question is, can the Bullpen be trusted? My answer is simply, no. My main reason is when it matters the most, come playoff time, they could fall flat.
It will be interesting, and there are many things the Phillies need to do to ensure October baseball happens again in the next month. The level of consistency will be a huge X-Factor, especially in September alone. The next week will show where the Phillies stand in the Postseason.