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Phillies Early Offensive Struggles Piling Up

12 games into the season, the 6-6 Philadelphia Phillies are having trouble getting their offense going. They have scored more than five runs in a game only once this season. That came when they scored nine runs in a game against the Cincinnati Reds on April 2. Six of those runs were driven in by Bryce Harper, who hit three home runs during that game. Two games saw the Phillies score exactly five runs. The first of those was against the Washington Nationals on April 6. That game saw J.T. Realmuto drive in three of the Phillies’ five runs. The other occurrence came against the St. Louis Cardinals on April 8. Unlike those other games, five different players drove in the five runs scored by the Phillies. Aside from those games, the Phillies’ early offensive struggles are mounting.

Zack Wheeler has made three starts this season with a 0-2 record and a 1.89 ERA, along with a 240 ERA+ and 20 strikeouts. Those three games saw the Phillies score a combined four runs. It is hard for a team to be successful when it fails to provide run support for its best starting pitcher. The next scheduled start for Wheeler is against the Pittsburgh Pirates on April 14. It is essential that the Phillies provide proper run support for Wheeler, starting with this game. While the Phillies have struggled to score runs in general for whatever reason, this issue becomes more prevalent when their ace starts. Wheeler is pitching great right now, but it will not be noticeable in his win-loss record because of little to no run support.

Phillies’ Early Offensive Struggles Piling Up

It is worth noting that the Phillies have been shut out once this season. That came on Tuesday against the Cardinals, in a game where the Phillies had eight hits. Overall, the Phillies rank 24th in runs scored this season with 45. Of teams in the NL, the Phillies have only outscored the New York Mets. As a team, the Phillies have a .234/.316/.342 line with 11 home runs and 42 RBI this season. The home run total is tied for 17th while the RBI total is tied for 24th in MLB. Additionally, the Phillies have walked 48 times this season while striking out 112 times. They have a .658 OPS this season which is tied for 20th at the moment. As a team, Philadelphia has a .304 wOBA and an 86 wRC+ this season.

In terms of individual players, Harper and Brandon Marsh are the only two Phillies with more than two home runs this season. In terms of RBI, Alec Bohm, Harper, and Marsh are tied for the team lead with seven. Of the Phillies’ nine regular starting position players, seven have struck out at least 10 times. Among currently qualified Phillies, Nick Castellanos has the worst batting average, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage with a .163/.265/.163 line. He has also struck out 13 times this season. Strikeouts have been a problem for Castellanos for some time, though slight improvements can be seen. Last season, he had a 27.6% strikeout rate, while this season he has a 24.4% strikeout rate.

The Bright Spot At The Plate

While the team is not performing as well at the plate as it would like, Marsh is having a great start to his season. In 11 games played, he has a .333/.359/.583 line with three home runs and seven RBI. Marsh’s 12 hits rank second behind Trea Turner for the most on the team. While he has struck out 14 times, he still leads the team in on-base percentage and has two walks. The five runs Marsh has scored is tied for fourth on the team, and he has added a stolen base. This helps show why Marsh needs to be an everyday player for the Phillies. His success has led to Phillies manager Rob Thomson moving Marsh up in the batting order.


Photo Credit: © Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports


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