The Philadelphia Phillies finished the month of April with a 16 – 12 record. Their third best start in the past 25 years. But, they are only 15th in MLB in runs scored and, outside of one 20-run explosion against the Miami Marlins back on April 7, they are averaging less than four runs per game. They are also second in MLB in strikeouts (on pace to shatter the current record) and, defensively, they rank 30th with -22 runs saved and errors with 24.
Phillies through the first month of the season:
Record: 16-12 (93-win pace)
Runs per game: 15th
Pitches per plate appearance: 1st
Walk rate: 1st
Strikeouts: 2nd (on pace to break MLB record)
Defense: 30th (-22 defensive runs saved)
— Joe Giglio (@JoeGiglioSports) May 1, 2018
So, how have they managed to get through the first month of the season on pace to win 93 games?
The starting rotation, anchored by young ace Aaron Nola, newly-signed Jake Arrieta and the unexpectedly strong Nick Pivetta along with the surprisingly effective bullpen quintet of Victor Arano, Edubray Ramos, Adam Morgan, Yacksel Rios and Hector Neris have pushed the Phillies to 9th in MLB and 5th in the National League in ERA (3.76).
Second-year stud LF/1B Rhys Hoskins has hit above .300 since the season opener in Atlanta. He is second on the team in hits (28), first in extra-base hits (12 – 8 HR, 4 2B), second in RBI (19) and first in walks (24). His OPS (On-Base % + Slugging %) is a phenomenal .985.
Enigmatic CF Odubel Herrera has reached base in 31 straight games dating back to last season. He is batting .340 with 3 HR, 13 RBI and a .405 OBP (On-Base %).
The Phillies travel to the nation’s capital, Washington, D.C. for a 3-game weekend series against the Washington Nationals. They return home on Monday, May 7 to begin a 7-game homestand against the Giants and Mets, before hitting the road again on Tuesday, May 15 for their first interleague series of the season, a quick 2-game set in Baltimore against the Orioles.