The Phillies‘ frustrating start to 2023 continued this weekend in Ohio for the second and last time the Phillies will see the Reds. Philadelphia is wildly inconsistent in a 2-2 series split against the Cincinnati Reds. The Phillies simultaneously have one of the worst and best offenses in baseball so far on the season. Paired with one of the worst pitching staffs, their 6-10 record comes as no shock to all onlookers.
Stott is a Diamond in the Rough
Bryson Stott has hit in all 16 games this season. He has tied Pudding Head Jones’s 16-game hitting streak that has been a franchise record for many years. He also tied the franchise record for games in a row to start a season with a hit in each one. Stott is boasting a .380 batting average so far this season. The youngster wasted no time in Sunday’s finale, blasting a solo shot after a brief rain delay to give the Phils and starter Aaron Nola an early lead.
Stott’s production has been amazing and shocking. He has emerged as the team’s go-to leadoff man and hitter. He sees a lot of pitches and works every at-bat. No National League hitter has more than Stott’s 27 hits this season.
The Pitching Woes are Real for the Phillies
Heading into Sundays, the Phillies had just three quality starts (six innings pitched, three runs allowed or less) in 15 games. Those 15 games combined to create just two wins for Phillies’ starting pitching. One of those two came Friday when Taijuan Walker had his best outing as a Phillie going six innings and allowing just four hits and one run.
The Phillies starters have, through the first 15 games, handed over 29 runners to relief pitchers. That is the third most in baseball. In addition to the obvious stress that the lack of deep starting performances has put on the Phillies has made for ugly results. The pen has been overworked. They have been wildly inconsistent, but the starting pitching depth issues certainly don’t help. Nor does the offense being so hot and cold in Saturday’s 13-0 loss massacre. Phillies put infielder Josh Harrison out there to get pulverized as he tried to end the shutout loss mercifully. This would be his second time pitching this season. That is unacceptable.
A fourth quality start this year came from Aaron Nola. He barely hung on for six innings and three runs in the finale Sunday. He scattered eight base runners but gave the bullpen a much-needed break.
Short-Term Memory in Baseball
Baseball is different than other sports. Less than 24 hours after the offense forgot to play baseball in a 13-0 walloping Saturday, the offense exploded for nine runs in the first inning in a 14-3 win to clinch a series 2-2 split. In the 23-hit barrage, Trea Turner impressively reached base four separate times in the first four innings.
The same kind of thing happened already this season when the Phils opened their series last week against the Marlins with a random 15-3 win following a loss the afternoon prior. The consistency is not there for the Phillies. They have scored three or fewer runs seven times this season (5-3 when they score more than three, 1-7 when they do not).
What is Next for the Phightins?
The White Sox are next as Philly tries not to blow it in the Windy City. The three-game series starts Monday. It’s another team with a losing record and low expectations that should be a layup for the Phils, so they will probably struggle. I know I am getting bitter too early in the season. Zack Wheeler, Bailey Falter, and Taijuan Walker will start for Philadelphia with two-night games and a 2 p.m. start in the series in Chicago. The team will return home to host the Rockies next weekend. Let’s see if they can make up ground and if Philadelphia can stop being wildly inconsistent.
Al is one of the two co-creators of Edge of Philly Sports. Al started radio and podcasting in 2012 and covering sports in 2015. A lifelong Philly sports fan since watching the Eagles, Phillies, Sixers, and Flyers with his grandfathers at age 7. Al always looks at the other side of the hot topics and gives his different outlook on those topics. Web and Graphic Design.