The Phillies have been on a rollercoaster so far this year, but one thing is for certain: these are the Phillies we expected to see. This past week has seen the offense come alive, as the team is 5-1 in their last six contests thanks to some well-timed offensive outbursts. However, just like we predicted in the off-season, the pitching staff has for the most part made things far more interesting than need be.
The Phillies offense has been absolutely mashing this week, as they’ve scored a total of 46 runs over their past six games. The West Coast road trip seems to have awakened their sleeping bats, and they’ve gained a bit of ground on the Mets in the process. It started on Monday with a 9-0 drubbing of the Mariners, followed by a defensively-challenged 5-4 loss on Tuesday. They flipped the script on Wednesday powered by a Rhys Hoskins grand slam in a 4-2 victory against Seattle.
Then it was on to Los Angeles to play the Dodgers, and all three games so far have been track meets. Thursday’s nail biter ended in a 9-7 Phil’s victory, but only after Joe Girardi allowed José Alvarado to blow a 7-3 lead. Ninth inning heroics saved them from another embarrassing loss, and the contest ended 9-7 Phils.
Friday night was more of the Phillies we expected to see, as the back and forth affair bled into extra innings. The two teams traded runs all night until a Nick Castellanos double in the tenth secured the Phillies victory. The offense was incredible, as every batter reached base safely. Bryce Harper was his normal MVP self, going 3-4 with a double, a home run and two walks. Kyle Schwarber launched a two-run blast of his own, while Castellanos, Alec Bohm, Odúbel Herrera, Johan Camargo and Bryson Stott all tallied multi-hit games. For Stott in particular it was a sorely needed come up, as the rookie has struggled mightily to start his big league career. He had by far his best performance in the majors on Friday, going 2-3 with a pair of walks and three RBI. Hopefully, with Didi Gregorius still nursing a left knee sprain, Stott can string together a handful of productive games.
Saturday night was the most lopsided of their victories over the Dodgers thus far. Jean Segura made Julio Urías pay for a Justin Turner error by depositing a three-run blast into the left field seats. It was off the races from there for the Phils, as they put up three more runs in the third inning and capped it off with a two-run fourth. Harper was excellent once again, logging a single, double and homer, and Rhys Hoskins joined him with a dinger and a three-hit night of his own. Kyle Schwarber also launched another moonshot, and the Phillies cruised to an 8-3 victory. Ranger Suárez was able to give the beleaguered bullpen a break, working through seven innings while allowing three earned runs on five hits and one walk with six punchouts. Seranthony Domínguez and Connor Brogdon added on scoreless frames of their own to complete the Phillies’ dominance.
This week’s road trip has been a much needed breakout for the Phillies. The offense has absolutely blown the doors off of opponents, while the pitching staff has done largely what we thought it would. The Phils’ hurlers have specialized in bending, but not breaking this week. Some games, like Thursday and Friday, nearly ended in disaster. Others, like Monday, Wednesday and Saturday, were terrific performances on both sides of the ball. Coming into the 2022 season, this is what most fans dreamed things would look like. The pitchers have been capable enough to hold their own a lot of the time, and when they don’t have it, the offense can bash their way out of almost any hole. There will still be days when things don’t come together. The lineup will still get shut down from time to time. But, if we continue to see the Phillies we expected to see, they’ll be able to give the Mets a run for their money in the National League East.