Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Better Beard

 So far we've got a guy with an XBH streak, a bunch of pitchers who go deep into games without allowing runs, several relievers with very low ERAs, and a few games Bryce Harper will be missing not due to injury, but because he's expecting a kid. And all the while we're 5+ games over .500 earlier than we have been in either of the years we made the NLCS. So suffice to say, great time to be a Phillies fan.

The way all of Trea Turner, Brandon Marsh and Alec Bohm are all playing is what we'd been wanting for them for a while. Turner has this insane extra base hit streak, in addition to an amazing .348 ERA and 31 hits. This is the Turner we signed up for, and this is the kind of season he gave to the Nats and Dodgers willingly. Turner has a place right in the heart of the Philly lineup, and I love seeing him come into his own. Marsh is equally dominant right now, hitting .288 with 13 RBIs and 5 homers. This is the more well rounded, contact-friendly season that I'm guessing the Angels wish they'd gotten to see more of. And then Bohm's actually mixing solid offensive play with some halfway decent defensive numbers this year, so he's on our good side for the moment. Could use something a little more from Bryson Stott, but he'll get there, probably.

The single most impressive thing about this Phillies team, to me, has been the degree of excellence coming from the starting rotation. I worried about Aaron Nola, as I think I have a right to at this point, but even he's evened things out to a 3.16 ERA, 3 wins and 26 Ks. He still gives up more runs that a lot of the rest of them, but when he's on, he's extremely handy. Wheeler's only 1-3, which is weird, but he's in peak shape, and is coming off a start where he went 7 or so innings without allowing a run. Cristopher Sanchez has been a pretty strong 5 man in the absence of Taijuan Walker, he's got a 2.53 ERA. And then you've got...y'know, Ranger Suarez and Spencer Turnbull, who've both been incredible through their first 4 starts and have ERAs lower than 2. I really hope both of them can keep it up, especially Turnbull, who's really good at being excellent for a good 10 starts and then getting injured.

The Phillies have been doing a lot correctly, but a lot has been thanks to an easy stretch of opponents. They've had the White Sox in town, and they're easy to make quick work of. The Rockies were in town before that, they were easy to beat. Now the Reds and Padres, who are a better degree of opponent, have to square up. And here is where things may get trickier for the Phillies, especially with the Mets creeping up. I do think the Phils have more to work with this season, and will eventually triumph, but it's going to take a lot of strong play in tougher matchups. Considering how long it took for the Phillies to even out, I do worry for the team, but with the degree I've seen from people like Ranger Suarez, Trea Turner and Brandon Marsh, I'm somewhat optimistic. 

Coming Tonight: The Mets passed on one of the best defensive players in the game to get a guy who's hitting .210 for them right now. That must smart, I think. 

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