More Sports:

May 28, 2024

MLB power rankings roundup: A rough patch won't knock the Phillies off the top

The Phillies stumbled for the first time in a while, dropping two of three to the Rockies and then the series opener to the Giants. But that isn't taking away from how good they've been.

Phillies MLB
Bryce-Harper-Phillies-Giants-5.27.24-MLB.jpg Cary Edmondson/USA TODAY Sports

Bryce Harper and the Phillies hit a bit of a rough patch for the first time in a while.

The Phillies are human. Who knew?

They dropped two of three to the Rockies over the weekend in Colorado, Ranger Suárez had his first vulnerable performance of the season, and then they flew over to San Francisco and dropped the series opener there on Monday.

It's the first time the Phillies have lost consecutive games, or even a series, in weeks. But that's baseball. It was bound to happen over the course of a 162-game season, and they still have baseball's best record at 38-17 going into Tuesday night.

It's a rough patch, but a mini one for right now, and nothing to get too overly concerned about, which is the common theme reflected in the latest wave of MLB power rankings. 

Here's a look... 1st

The Rockies are bad, but Coors Field is a unique home-field advantage. At the same time, however, it's also a venue where hitters can really let the ball fly, and the Phillies...didn't do that. 

Odd series for a usually fearsome lineup, writes Will Leitch:

Losing a series at Coors Field is no big deal: The Rockies, even when they’re not a good team overall, are always good at home. What’s strange is how the Phillies did it: by not hitting. One of the best offenses in baseball scored only two runs in two of the three games. When that's all you're managing at Coors Field, frankly, you’ve got to feel relieved you didn’t get swept entirely. []

ESPN: 1st

ESPN's panel of baseball writers and analysts moved the Phillies into the No. 1 spot over the Dodgers from the previous week, but important to note: They publish their power rankings late in the week rather than at the start, so this was as the Phils were on their way to sweeping the defending champion Rangers, but before they hit that bump in the road against the Rockies. 

Regardless, here's what David Schoenfield wrote about the Phillies:

The Ranger Suárez show continues after the southpaw allowed one run in seven innings with 10 strikeouts to beat the Rangers on Tuesday, running his record to 9-0 with a 1.35 ERA through his first 10 starts. Here's the list of pitchers since 1920 to win at least nine of their first 10 starts with an ERA under 1.50: Suárez, Ubaldo Jimenez (2010), Juan Marichal (1966) and Sal Maglie (1952). Now the game has changed: While Suárez has pitched 66 innings, Marichal had thrown 92 innings through 10 starts, which was more than nine per start (including a 14-inning 1-0 shutout). Still, Suárez has been amazing, and those 10 strikeouts in a game matched a career high, set in September against the Marlins. [ESPN]

Of course, Suárez gave up five runs (four earned) in his next start and finally registered a loss, but he did still strike out nine and it hardly takes away from the incredible tear he went on to begin the year. 

CBS Sports: 1st

The Phillies started drawing 2001 Mariners comparisons, then immediately lost to the Rockies. Baseball is often merciless, as Matt Snyder writes:

They were getting mentioned in the same breath as the 2001 Mariners, but then went into Colorado and lost a series to the hapless Rockies. Baseball strikes again! [CBS Sports]
But he still has the Phils at No. 1.

As for those '01 Mariners comparisons, here was Rob Thomson on them from last week:

Bleacher Report: 1st

Again, the Rockies are bad, which makes a series loss to them with how well the Phillies have been playing seem strange, but granted, isn't that what the cushion they've built up is for?

Writes Joel Reuter:

A series loss to the Rockies is a head-scratcher, but Coors Field is never an easy place to play, and the Phillies still have baseball's best record, best run differential (+93) and largest division lead with a six-game cushion over the Braves in the NL East. Shortstop Trea Turner has been sidelined since early May with a hamstring injury, and in his place Edmundo Sosa is hitting .321/.406/.607 with nine extra-base hits in 58 plate appearances this month. [B/R]
Sosa has been incredibly clutch in Turner's absence, and could very well be the best bench player in all of baseball right now.

Five thoughts: Phillies drop first series since March to lowly Rockies

The Athletic: 1st

Really, don't overthink that Colorado series, writes Andy McCullough as part of The Athletic's rankings panel:

Sometimes, the simplest stats say the most. The Phillies have been clicking for quite a while. When the club lost a series this weekend to Colorado, it marked the first time the team dropped a series since the first days of April. The team hadn’t lost back-to-back games since April 23-24. The starting rotation has been stellar, with Ranger Suárez emerging as a Cy Young Award candidate while big-money pitchers Zack Wheeler and Aaron Nola are doing what they are paid to do. Bryce Harper remains Bryce Harper. Alec Bohm looks on track for his first All-Star appearance. The National League East looks like their division to lose. [The Athletic]

Baseball just gets everyone in strange ways once in a while.

Phillies prospect watch: Aiden Miller rakes, Griff McGarry finds his groove, gets hurt

Follow Nick on Twitter: @itssnick

Like us on Facebook: PhillyVoice Sports