April 24, 2019
Since our last look at the MLB Power Rankings landscape, the Phillies have been in a bit of a free fall, losing five of their last six games — not to mention the growing list of Phillies finding their way to the injured list. After a 5-1 start to the season, the Phillies are now just 12-11 overall and will look to avoid falling to .500 — and being swept — for the first time this season when they face Mets on Wednesday night.
But, somehow, the power rankings don't quite reflect the Phillies' recent slide, as they fallen by, at most, three spots this week. In some, they actually remained in the same spot, and in one, they actually climbed a spot. Go figure...
That being said, there's cause for concern among Phillies fans, as the 5-1 start could be blinding some to the fact that in the two-plus weeks since, the Phillies are just 7-10 and have fallen out of first place in the NL East, which now belongs to the Mets. Worse yet, the Phillies are just a half game ahead of the Nationals and Braves, meaning they're also a half game from falling all the way to fourth place in the division.
The good news is, it's early. And the Phillies have been doing all this with a slumping ace in Aaron Nola, a struggling bullpen, and several key injuries. And maybe that's why the Phillies haven't fallen too far down in the rankings. Either way, let's take a look at where the team currently ranks during the fourth week of the MLB season...
|WHAT THEY'RE SAYING...|
|5 (-2)||Aaron Nola has struggled out of the gate, but he mostly tamed the thin air of Coors Field on Saturday to earn his second win of the year and he's lined up to face the lowly Marlins this Thursday. Still, who would have guessed he'd be sporting a 6.84 ERA through five starts? There may be some internal clubhouse strife in Philly...|
|4 (-3)||There were at least a handful of things I thought might go wrong this season. Aaron Nola having a 6.84 ERA through five starts wasn't really on the menu.|
|6 (--)||It was another ho-hum week for the Phillies, who seem to be idling in this No. 6 spot. That isn’t a bad place to be. They’re 3-3 over their last six games, which includes a series loss to the Rockies and a series win over the Mets.|
|6 (+1)||Four regulars - McCutchen, Harper, Hoskins, Franco - with OPS better than .900.|
|4 (--)||The Phillies' bullpen has been a strength over the past week, even through a mediocre stretch that included losing three of four to the Rockies in Denver. The ‘pen has a 2.16 ERA over its past eight games (8 ER/33 1/3 IP). Hector Neris has been especially good all season, posting a 1.86 ERA and 0.62 WHIP. He has struck out 15 of 36 batters he’s faced and has three saves, including a five-out save on Saturday.|
[NOTE: Some of these rankings may have come out a day or two ago, and may not be taking the most recent game into account.]