April 19, 2023
A quick trip to Chicago this week showcased the whole the Phillies experience: when their bats are alive, they're going to be one of the most difficult teams in the sport to face. When things go cold, the lineup reaches Ice Age levels. There was more bad than good, however, in this three-game set with the White Sox, as the Phillies took two of three from them before coming back to the friendly confines of South Philadelphia this weekend.
After a Monday rain delay, the Phillies had a doubleheader with the Sox on Tuesday, winning 7-4 early in the afternoon before falling 3-0 at night. The Fightins closed on a good note with a 5-2 win on Wednesday, as Phillies fans desparately hope going home on a good note can finally bring some consistency to this offense.
As we do, here are five awards from the Phillies' latest series...
Bryson Stott has been on a tear to start 2023. He's found himself in a leadoff role and he's excelling, hitting .365 and out-playing the Phils' big-money stars. Heading into the second half of Tuesday's doubleheader in Chicago, Stott had a 17-game hitting streak, the longest ever to begin a season in Phillies history.
Stott's mark was snapped, however, as he went 0-for-4 at the plate.
The second-year infielder immediately bounced back in the rubber match of this series though. He responded with a two-hit effort on Wednesday afternoon, including a double.
So begins another hit streak!
Stott's been everything the Phillies could've hoped for so far this year and he looks like the perfect young building block to grow alongside the Phils' marquee players who are in their respective primes.
If not for an eighth-inning double from Brandon Marsh on Tuesday night, they would've been no hit. Burned into the brain of every Phillies fan is their no-hit performance back in Game 4 of the World Series last fall. Having a no-hitter thrown on you twice in a 167-day span would've been rough to say the least.
Nick Castellanos, fresh off signing a contract worth $100 million over five years, massively disappointed in his first year in red pinstripes, posting a putrid .694 OPS with just 13 home runs after a 34-homer, Silver Slugger-winning campaign in 2021 in Cincinnati.
He's been closer to what Phillies fans thought they were getting so far in 2023, with a batting average of .292 and an OPS over .800. Castellanos went 3-for-4 in the Phils' win on Tuesday and followed that up with an RBI single in the third on Wednesday that gave the team a lead they wouldn't relinquish.
Given his 2022 woes, Castellanos hitting simply like an above-average hitter could be enough to have the Phils treading water until their lineup reaches its final form upon Bryce Harper's return.
Marsh arrived in Philly last year known for his glove in the outfield. He had a couple clutch hits in the postseason and entering his age-25 season, there was room for optimism for Marsh at the plate. He's eclipsed even the strongest belief in his bat so far in 2023, hitting his third home run of the season in Wednesday's win, bringing his slugging percentage up to .700. His OPS for the entirety of 2022 was only .679!
Marsh isn't going to post early 2000s Barry Bonds numbers all season long, but the Phillies have found a diamond in the rough in Marsh. I don't care what his career splits are against left-handed pitching. He needs to be in the lineup every single day if the organization wants to see what Marsh's full potential truly is.
A Phillies reliever thriving? Is that allowed? The Phillies traded fan-favorites Nick Mason and Matt Vierling and more to Detroit this past offseason for Gregory Soto, a two-time All-Star. Like the rest of the bullpen, he's struggled to begin 2023, but made some strides in the Chicago series, pitching a inning a piece in the Phils' two wins, striking out three total batters and allowing zero runs, hits and walks.
It's a start!
Colorado (5-3) comes to two for a four-game set on Thursday. Here are the probable pitchers for the series:
|Thurs, 4/20||Matt Strahm (L)||Ryan Feltner (R)|
|Fri, 4/21||Aaron Nola (R)||Noah Davis (R)|
|Sat, 4/22||Cristopher Sánchez (L)||Kyle Freeland (L)|
|Sun, 4/23||TBD||Jose Urena (R)|
An important note: Sunday's game will air on the Peacock streaming service at 12:05 p.m. as a part of Major League Baseball's deal with NBCUniversal. If you already get your cable through Xfinity, you automatically get Peacock and can access the app via Xfinity's interface. Make sure to tell your parents now so you don't get a confused call right before first pitch.
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