August 20, 2019
Last time we checked in on the Phillies, it seemed like their season was hitting rock bottom. They'd just lost three straight series, including three of four games to the Giants, and had fired their hitting coach, replacing him with former manager Charlie Manuel.
In the six games since, however, the Phillies are 4-2, thanks in large part to their three-game sweep of the Cubs immediately following the decision to hire Manuel.
Had the Phillies been able to keep that up over the weekend against the Padres, they might've climbed even higher in the power rankings, but after dropping two of three to San Diego, many are wondering if the Cubs series was an outlier rather an indication of things to come.
The Phillies (64-60) will need to turn things around, and quick, as they head to Fenway for a short series against the Red Sox before a weekend set with the Marlins in Miami.
Unfortunately for the Phils, who are currently two games out of the final NL wild card spot, they don't have a great track record playing in Boston as they've failed to win a series there in 20 years. But if they can earn a split with the Red Sox and take two out of three (or sweep) the Marlins, they'll be looking a lot better heading into September.
In the meantime, here's a look at where the Phillies stand in various power rankings around the country after a week that saw them climb at least one spot in nearly every outlet's list...
|WHAT THEY'RE SAYING...|
|15 (+2)||It feels like a good time of the year to start thinking about playoff odds. And some of you fanbases aren’t gonna want to what’s coming next, so I apologize in advance. (I don’t, actually). The defending champion Red Sox are at just 7.1 percent, according to Fangraphs’ projections, while the Cubs are the most likely of this bunch at 75.3 percent. Sprinkled in the middle we find the Phillies (9.6 percent), Brewers (25.2 percent) and Mets (42.6 percent).|
|12 (-1)||Jake Arrieta being shut down for the rest of the year is bad news for the Phillies' playoff hopes.|
|18 (+4)||The best part about the Bryce Harper walk-off grand slam was how he sprinted the entire way around the bases because he wanted to celebrate with his teammates as soon as possible. But, yeah, you're probably right that he's a selfish jerk, Bryce Haters. |
|16 (+2)||Catcher J.T. Realmuto easily leads all Phillies position players in WAR, as not only has his bat heated up since the All-Star break but also defensively he has no peers in throwing out potential base stealers. Realmuto never won a Gold Glove Award in his Miami years, but that could change in 2019. At the plate, he should reach career bests in home runs, RBIs, walks and potentially OPS, as manager Gabe Kapler has moved him up in an inconsistent lineup. Bryce Harper gets most of the attention, but Realmuto's role might be just as important.|
|16 (+1)||Bryce Harper hit eight homers with 18 RBI in first 16 games of August.|
[NOTE: Some of these rankings may have come out a day or two ago, and may not be taking the most recent game(s) into account.]