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April 04, 2023

Phillies' 0-4 start is no big deal... right?

The Phillies have not won a game this season. They are the the seventh team in baseball history to start 0-4 after making the World Series the season prior. They are the 11th team franchise in history to start with this record, and they have the worst run differential in team history through four games (-25, woof).

It's obviously not time to panic. It's just 2.4% of the 162 game season. But there might be some reason for concern.

Ignoring for a moment that no team has ever started 0-6 and won a World Series (the Phillies will be relying on reliever Matt Strahm and the bullpen against the Yankees tonight), the Phillies have the worst ERA in baseball — 9.28. 

Their staff, across the board, has been just dreadful, posting the second worst walk rate in baseball, the third worst home run rate, and the second most hits per nine innings. They are the only team in the majors with a WHIP above 2.0.

It's also worth mentioning in this very early going that according to baseball-reference, Philadelphia has the third worst defense in the league, and it has allowed six runs above an average defensive unit.

Straham and the pen — also the worst bullpen in the league so far by the way — will be relied on to stop the slump before Aaron Nola takes the ball for a second time this season in the finale Wednesday afternoon.

This time next week the Phillies could be over .500 and this could all have been a blip. They do, after all, have the league's fifth best batting average, and their 16 combined doubles and triples league the league. But with Rhys Hoskins out for the year their hitters are walking noticeably less — they've drawn the second fewest free passes this season.

According to, the Phillies' chances of success have dipped significantly after just four contests.

 PreseasonApril 4
Playoff %59%44%
NL East %20%11%
World Series %4%3%

Some of it makes sense — their NL East chances dropping almost by half because they already have three games to make up in the standings and it hasn't even been a week.

However, their win/loss over under dropping by four after starting with four losses — assuming they were going to start 4-0 — seems a little harsh.

There are multiple Wildcard spots for this very talented Phillies team to race toward and the odds now saying they are less than a coin flip to return to October makes me dubious. 

The Phillies need to find a way to get in the win column. And the way things are going, it's probably going to need to come from the offense. It's an offense that, even without Bryce Harper and Hoskins, should be able to outscore opponents on most nights. If the pitching can revert back toward being close to an average staff, the Phillies should be able to dig out of this.

Just 158 games left to get the city back on board. No sweat, right?

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