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Two Stars Deliver for Phillies on Road Trip

The Philadelphia Phillies had two stars deliver during their road trip. During a six-game split that saw the Phillies lose a series against the Milwaukee Brewers and win a series against the San Diego Padres, star players Zack Wheeler and J.T. Realmuto stepped up. Their performances helped the Phillies avoid a losing road trip. A home run by Realmuto on Sunday helped the Phillies avoid being swept by the Brewers. Additionally, Zack Wheeler pitched six shutout innings on Wednesday to help deliver a series win for the Phillies against the Padres. That game also saw Kyle Schwarber set a new team record for most leadoff home runs in a season. Jimmy Rollins previously set the record in 2007.

As things stand, the Atlanta Braves are on their way to wrapping up the NL East. This means the Phillies’ path to the playoffs involves earning a Wild Card spot. The Phillies are currently five games in the clear for a Wild Card spot with a 77-62 record. However recent losses combined with the Chicago Cubs picking up important wins are closing the gap for the top NL Wild Card spot. At the start of the road trip, the Phillies held a 2 1/2 game advantage over the Cubs. But now, the Phillies lead the Cubs by only 1 1/2 games for the top NL Wild Card spot. The Phillies remaining schedule sees them play the Braves seven times. Furthermore, the Phillies will play 17 of their last 23 games against divisional opponents.

Two Phillies Stars Deliver In Their Own Ways

After his most recent start, Wheeler should be in the NL Cy Young Award conversation. In his last seven starts, he has a 3-1 record with a 2.80 ERA and a 0.87 WHIP along with 47 strikeouts. In two of his last three starts, Wheeler recorded 10 or more strikeouts. Since the All-Star break, batters have a .185 average against Wheeler. Overall for the season, Wheeler has an 11-6 record with a 3.49 ERA and a 1.05 WHIP along with 192 strikeouts. Wheeler currently has the best WHIP and third-best strikeout total in the NL this season. When it comes time for the playoffs, Wheeler should start Game 1 of a potential Wild Card Series and lead the pitching staff during the postseason.

The so-called best catcher in baseball, Realmuto has three home runs in his last four games. Over his last seven games, he has a .360/.448/.760 line with three home runs and four RBI. During the first six games of that seven-game stretch, Realmuto recorded a 189 wRC+ with a .454 wOBA. During five games in September, Realmuto has a 1.365 OPS. Overall this season, he has a .257/.320/.472 line with 18 home runs and 54 RBI along with 13 stolen bases. Last season, Realmuto joined Ivan Rodriguez as the two primary catchers to ever have a 20-20 season. This season, he could become the first primary catcher to have multiple 20-20 seasons, needing two more home runs and seven more stolen bases to accomplish this feat.

One Month Since The Standing Ovation

It has now been over one month since Phillies fans gave Trea Turner a motivating standing ovation. With a solid sample size, it is time to evaluate how his play has changed since then. In the 124 plate appearances since the August 4 standing ovation, Turner has a .362/.395/.767 line with 12 home runs and 33 RBI. In addition, he has a .478 wOBA along with a 206 wRC+ in that stretch. For comparison, during the 125 plate appearances immediately prior to the standing ovation, Turner had a .197/.248/.316 line with two home runs and five RBI. Over that span, Turner had a .247 wOBA and a 50 wRC+. The standing ovation has been a turning point for Turner, as he has not cooled off since then. He is yet another Phillies star to consistently deliver in recent games.

Schwarber Joins Select Company

Kyle Schwarber joined an exclusive club by reaching 40 home runs this season. With this being his second consecutive 40-home-run season, Schwarber becomes the fifth player in Phillies history to have multiple 40-homer seasons for the team. All of the four other players had consecutive 40-homer seasons like Schwarber as well. From most recent to furthest back, the other Phillies players to accomplish the feat are Ryan Howard, Jim Thome, Mike Schmidt, and Chuck Klein. Howard and Schmidt are the two players to have at least three 40-homer campaigns with the Phillies. Dick Allen and Cy Williams are the other two Phillies to hit 40 or more homers in a season.


Photo Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports


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