What have we learned in the opening quarter of Phillies’ 2020 season?

Friday’s 6-5 victory against the New York Mets marked the one-quarter mark of the 60-game regular season sprint for the Philadelphia Phillies. Following their sweep of the Mets (and given one of the few off days remaining on the Phillies’ calendar, we believe now is a good time to look back and see just how the Phillies are doing.

Schedule Shuffle

When the Phillies’ 2020 season officially began against the Marlins on July 24th, everyone knew how fragile the season was. What no one expected, however, was that the first teams to shutdown would do so after three games. Phillies fans already despised how the Marlins had the Phillies’ number taking two of three to start the season, but a new hatred for the South Beach fish was born.

One week and seven postponed games later, the Phillies returned to action with an adjusted schedule including seven doubleheaders. The Phillies split series against both the Yankees and Braves, demonstrating an ugly bullpen with an offense that will try to cover the gaps.

The Baltimore Orioles have been the butt of many jokes for years as the worst team in the American League. In their series against the Phillies, the O’s made the Phils look like a Little League team. After embarrassingly being swept by the Orioles, the Phillies made the Mets feel their pain by sweeping them right outta Philly.

NL East Standings

TeamWLPct.GBL10
Miami Marlins96.6005-5
Atlanta Braves1310.5655-5
Philadelphia Phillies89.4712.05-5
Washington Nationals811.4213.04-6
New York Mets914.3914.04-6

It is absolutely shocking that the Marlins are leading the NL East. This will eventually change. The makeshift Marlins’ taxi squad will eventually give way, and the division will begin to take form. Currently, the division is open for anyone to take.

The Offense

Bryce Harper and J.T. “Pay Him” Realmuto are looked upon as the leaders of the team offensively. They have proven why over the course of the Phillies’ first 17 games. Harper is hitting for the second-highest OPS in the league (1.165). Realmuto is tied for fourth in pro baseball with eight home runs. The two have combined to be the most explosive three-four combo in the East.

Phillies fans have been quick to ridicule 1B Rhys Hoskins for his dreadful start to the season. On paper, he has not done well. He has only hit one home run while slashing .208/.408/.283. But, he has tallied 16 walks. He is also currently on a three-game hitting streak, including two doubles and four RBI.

Andrew McCutchen and Scott Kingery, however, have not been doing well. Cutch has yet to return to his 2019 season-form. He hit his first home run of the season yesterday but remains below the Mendoza line with a .192 average and a .528 OPS. Kingery has been even less impressive with a .128 average and a .308 OPS. Kingery has yet to reach 100% health following his recovery from COVID-19. While he does not use this as an excuse, it is most certainly a factor affecting his poor performance.

Rookie Alec Bohm has made his presence known in Philadelphia since his debut on August 13th. In four games, Bohm has reached base five times (four hits, one walk). While he has yet to hit a home run, he is proving that he can adjust to Major League pitching. Batting in the bottom half of the order, there is less pressure on Bohm, allowing him to adjust to the Majors in a less stressful situation.

As a team, the Phillies’s offense owns the second-highest OPS in the league at .803. The team has scored an average of 5.29 runs per game, the sixth best in the league. Given the inconsistent numbers of games played throughout the league, the Phillies are not among the league leaders in runs scored or home runs. Regardless, they are keeping pace with some of the best teams in the league.

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Photo by Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire

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