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Phillies Bats Shine

The Philadelphia Phillies bats shine against the St. Louis Cardinals, taking two out of three games. They scored 16 runs in three games against the Cardinals in a series they could have swept. In the bottom of the eighth inning during the September 17 game, Seranthony Domínguez allowed a home run that gave the Cardinals a win. It is unfortunate heading into the playoffs that the Phillies currently have one trustable relief pitcher in Jeff Hoffman. Going into October, the Phillies need multiple relievers they can trust in high-leverage situations. The pitching staff backing up the bats will be needed for the Phillies to go deep in the postseason again.

As things currently stand, the Phillies are 81-68 in the top NL Wild Card spot. Heading into games on September 18, they lead the (Chicago Cubs by 2 1/2 games or the Arizona Diamondbacks by three games) for the top NL Wild Card spot. The Phillies are in line to host an NL Wild Card Series. Locking up the top NL Wild Card spot is crucial for the Phillies if they want to go deep in the playoffs and return to the World Series for the second consecutive year. They head into another series against the division-rival Atlanta Braves, whom the Phillies have shown they can beat in a playoff series. The Phillies have a few things that need adjusting, but they are a team to watch in the playoffs.

Phillies Bats Shine Led By Infielder

Alec Bohm has been the most reliable bat in the lineup in recent games. Over his last seven games, Bohm has a .379/.438/.552 line with one home run and five RBI. Bohm recorded a hit in the three games against the Cardinals between September 15 and September 17. Manager Rob Thomson has rewarded Bohm by placing him in the third or fourth spot in the lineup in recent games. In addition, Bohm has set a new career best in walks with 41 this season, as well as home runs with 17 this season and RBI with 91 this season. If Bohm reaches 100 RBI on the season, he will join Mike Schmidt and Scott Rolen as Phillies whose primary position is third base to have at least 100 RBI in a season in the last 50 years, according to Matt Gelb.

Johan Rojas is another Phillies player who has had success at the plate in recent games. During his last seven games, Rojas has a .438/.471/.625 line with no home runs, one RBI, and three stolen bases. Over the first six games of that stretch, Rojas also had a .472 wOBA and a 201 wRC+. Furthermore, Rojas had a .955 OPS during September. In 49 games this season, Rojas has a .302/.347/.422 line with one home run, 19 RBI, and 12 stolen bases. This comes as Rojas continues to excel on defense. During his first 309 innings in centerfield, Rojas has 14 defensive runs saved, which leads the Phillies and ranks sixth among outfielders.

Pitching Rotation Shakeup Needed

Thomson needs to reevaluate the rotation heading into the playoffs. With a 5.85 ERA in his last seven games and a 7.27 ERA during September, Taijuan Walker may need to be moved to the bullpen. Given that five starters will be required to close out the regular season, Walker will stay in the rotation for now and move to the bullpen for the postseason. Throughout his career, Walker has four relief appearances. Another pitcher Thomson should move to the bullpen is Michael Lorenzen. Over his last seven games, Lorenzen has a 5.23 ERA with an 8.18 ERA in September. Lorenzen has pitched out of the bullpen for most of his career, so that it would be nothing new for him.

While some have played out of the rotation, Cristopher Sánchez has solidified his spot. During two September outings, Sanchez has a 2.92 ERA and 14 strikeouts with a 1.14 WHIP. With these recent performances, Sanchez has played his way into the starting rotation for the rest of the season and into the playoffs. This season, Sanchez has a 2-4 record with a 3.40 ERA and 83 strikeouts with a 1.05 WHIP. Additionally, Sanchez has a 127 ERA+, by far a career-best, along with a 1.8 bWAR and a 1.6 fWAR this season. This season, Sanchez has been a surprising success story for the Phillies pitching staff and has earned a spot in the playoff rotation.


Main Photo Credits: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports


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