August 28, 2023
The Phillies went 5-1 this week, handling the playoff-bound Giants before sweeping the underachieving Cardinals.
Typically in this space, we'd give you a handful of Phillies players who are seeing their stock price go up and some other players who are struggling or in need of a boost. But not this week.
The Phillies scored 42 runs and allowed 18 last week. Of the 10 batters who received at least 10 at-bats, none collected less than five hits over the two series. No team in the history of the city has ever hit more home runs in a month than the Phils already have in August (with three games to go!).
The Phillies, who Saturday set a team record for home runs in one month (48), have homered in over 6% of their at-bats in August . . .— Bob Vetrone Jr. (@BoopStats) August 27, 2023
That blows away any other relatively full month in their history -- pic.twitter.com/xtZy8CnYWv
|Home runs||14||2nd (SEA)|
The Phillies have 49 home runs this month, which is the most in the majors. They're also leading all 29 other MLB teams in slugging percentage through August, so the small sample size of last week is reflective of their overall performance in the humid dog-day heat.
We'd be remiss if we didn't mention Bryce Harper, who is just on fire right now. He had 12 hits in 23 at-bats in six games last week, hitting three homers and driving in just under 25% of the Phillies' 42 runs. Harper is making up for lost time, and is sure to finish either first or second for NL Player of the Month honors.
The stars are shining and this is exactly what the front office expected when it spent nine figures on five different players over the past few offseasons. This year, Harper, Nick Castellanos, Trea Turner and Kyle Schwarber are combining to make $95 million dollars. In the month of August, they've combined for 77 RBI (of 147 total in the month, 52%). These are the exact kinds of at-bats the team has desperately been waiting for.
The offense has also been clutch. The team has come from behind 37 times this season (50% of their 72 wins) and eight times in the ninth inning. They have the third-best NL pennant odds now (behind the Dodgers and Braves).
We should mention, as we give the offense love, that the pitching staff has been almost equally as impressive in August. Some brief numbers:
|Home runs||14||2nd (SEA)|
Last year, the Phillies peaked at the end of the season and carried that with them into a deep postseason run. It seems crazy to say it, but this feels like it could be the same. Here's a look at their last four Augusts:
The clubhouse chemistry is off the charts and there have been special moments all month, ranging from Michael Lorenzen's no-hitter to the 36 homers hit (so far) by Schwarber to a rebounding Aaron Nola (who tossed seven one-hit innings on Sunday).
With a comfortable four-game lead for a Wild Card spot, the Phillies are going to have extremely high expectations in this city come the fall. Which might be right how they want it.
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