During the month of June, the Phillies recorded 12 wins and 12 losses. As Thanos would say, “Perfectly balanced, as all things should be.” Thanos would be a terrible baseball fan.
The Phillies hit a pair of major low points in the month of June. On June 26th, the Phillies faced their largest deficit in games back from the division-leading Mets (6 games back). On June 30th, the Phillies fell to 4 games under .500 after blowing a 5-2 lead against the Marlins.
We’ve come full circle folks. Welcome to July, where the Phillies just did the following: Won 2/3 in Philly against the Padres, won 3/4 in Chicago against the Cubs, won 2/3 in Boston against the Red Sox, and won 3/4 in Philly against the Marlins.
This current 10-4 stretch has pulled the Phillies’ playoff hopes straight out of the gutter.
The Phillies are now listed at 44.9% favorites to win the NL East. The Braves have the second-highest odds at 25.7% and the Mets are 3rd with a 17.9% chance.
Optimism is starting to creep into the minds of Phillies fans. Maybe we can finally put Ryan Howard‘s Achilles in the back of our minds and make new playoff memories.
But it begs to question, who has been fueling the Phillies recently.
The Hot Hands
Let’s start with the man who carried his hot bat in the All-Star Game in Colorado.
J.T. Realmuto hit the first home run as a Phillie in the All-Star Game since Michael Jack Schmidt in 1981, which was the longest active homerless streak in the majors. Since July 2nd, Realmuto has slashed .349/.429/.581 for the Phillies. On Sunday, the Best Catcher in Baseball finished off a big win for the Phillies.
Local Phillies’ fan, Travis Jankowski, has also been a huge part of the Phillies’ success. The Lancaster native has hit .375 for the Phillies. He’s stolen 4 bags and hit 4 extra-base hits for the Fightin’s in limited action. His .974 OPS is .327 higher than his career average.
On the other side of the ball, Matt Moore has been doing infinitely better than he was at the beginning of the season. Since reentering the rotation, Moore has a surprisingly wonderful 3.06 ERA. While not pitching deep into games, Moore has been quietly providing quality innings for the Phillies.
In the bullpen, it’s been Archie Bradley and Ranger Suarez leading the charge.
Archie Bradley had a dreadful start to his Phillies career. At the end of May, he had a 6.75 ERA. Since the start of July, he hasn’t allowed a single earned run. His ERA is now at 3.28. The improvement has no-doubtedly been because of his velocity. To start the season, Bradley was averaging around 93 MPH on his fastball. Recently, he’s been averaging closer to around 95 MPH, a huge difference.
Ranger Suarez has pitched his way into the closer’s role with the Phillies. After having a 20.25 ERA in 2020 (ahead of his time really), he’s posted a glorious 1.22 ERA in 2021. Already with 3 saves, Ranger isn’t blowing anyone away with high velocity. He averages 93-94 MPH on his fastball, but it’s been the elite control that has granted him success.
The Phillies will try to keep the momentum going as they head to the Bronx to meet the Yankees for a quick 2-game set on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Photo by Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire