I am not sure if the Phillies realize that the season starts in March and not June, but if they keep winning ballgames, sign me up.
The Phillies are off to a hot start in the month of June, and while Kyle Schwarber has once again taken a step towards making June “his month”, there is a group of his teammates that are trying to overtake his spot.
Do the Phillies have a starting 4?
The Phillies’ starting rotation has seemingly turned a corner and has begun to deliver dominant outings in June. Aside from the fact they are facing low quality lineups with the Nationals and Tigers, the starting rotation has really kicked it in gear.
The Phillies have had four straight really good starts, with the first being a bullpen game. Ranger Suarez, Aaron Nola, and Taijuan Walker have gone out and won the game for the Phillies over the last few days.
Respectively each starter has allowed 1, 0, and 0 earned runs in their starts this week. Ranger dominated the Nationals on Sunday in a game he had plenty of run support in. Aaron Nola had a no-hitter going into the 7th inning on Monday against the Tigers, and for the most part, that game was never in question. Taijuan Walker was given up one run to work with on Tuesday, and was still able to hand the lead off to the bullpen in the 8th inning.
Starting pitching was arguably the strength of the Phillies last season. So far in 2023, that has not been the case. The talent is there, but the production hasn’t, which in large part is a reason the Phillies find themselves 3 games below .500.
Challenging Each Other
With these dominant starts, the Phillies pitching staff is starting to challenge one another. Whether they are actively talking about it in the locker room or if they are simply going out and doing their jobs, the quality of pitching has been excellent.
When you see your teammate go out and deliver a great game, it becomes contagious. Just like the phrase “Everybody hits”, when the pitching is going well, it can become the spark for everyone else on the staff.
Ranger Suarez started this trend, Aaron Nola and Taijuan Walker have followed the trend, and today Zack Wheeler will get a chance to continue the trend.
The Phillies will send their ace to the mound looling for a series sweep over the Tigers. With the off-day Thursday, they will be able to skip over the bullpen game.
Suarez, Nola, and Walker will all get a chance to pitch this weekend against the Dodgers and we will see who is up for the challenge.
AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar