Five Things We Like and Dislike After 16 Phillies Games
Things I like:
- Connor Brogdon
My new favorite Philly. Through only a month of the season the 6’6” lanky right hander has been nothing short of magical for the Phils posting 0.6 WAR in only 6.1 innings pitched.
3-0, 0.00 ERA, 0.75 WHIP and 9.5 K/9inn
This is a sexy pitching stat line. Brogdon hasn’t just been good. He’s been good in big situations routinely to begin the season. With Archie Bradley going to the DL early, Brogdon has stepped in as the Phillies go-to guy in earlier innings. A 10th rd pick of the Phils in 2017, it is extremely refreshing to see a homegrown arm come out of the farm system.
Also, big shoutout to Connor B for getting his name on the outfield wall at Fresno City College.
2. Bryce Harper Continues to Silence the Haters
I want to remind the readers how many pathetic Phillies fans questioned whether Bryce Harper was worth $30 million per season when they signed him in 2019. Never forget these retched people who would rather play ‘money ball’ then watch one of the best competitors in the league every evening.
Lets take a moment to admire what our future MVP is doing early on this season:
Through his first 68 at-bats, Bryce is putting up an impressive line of .327/.459/.571. His OPS+ is a 185, second only to his 2015 MVP campaign with the Nationals.
In my opinion the most important metric for Harper and the Phillies is his BB/K rate. In Bryce’s most successful seasons, he is near the league lead in drawing walks and putting the ball in play.
2019: 99/178 = .56 38th in MLB
2020: 49/43 = 1.14 5th in MLB
2021: 11/12 = .92 21st in MLB
I don’t believe we have seen Harper’s best baseball yet in a Phillies uniform. Even with a ‘cranky’ back, he has looked tremendous this season and should be a lock for an all-star selection. All the Harper haters can climb back into their internet troll caves where they came from!
3. Jean Segura’s 200th Career Double Celebration
I like taking the time to celebrate the achievements of players. Baseball is so slow there is inordinate amounts of time to let a guy tip his cap to 11,000 standing fans.
When I saw the organized curtain call I was as surprised as everyone. I have watched a ton of baseball in my 32 years on earth and never realized that a 200th career double was a career achievement we would stop the game for.
For a guy not exactly known around the league for his hustle this had to be an important moment for my guy Jean. So what if he’s excited? The guy made an incredible slide into second base to reach the milestone. Give him his due dammit! Find me another 200th career double that was as exciting as this.
Keith Olbermann, who is an ass-clown and hasn’t been relevant in a decade thought this was funny enough to rip someone in the Phillies family. Sure.. 1,000 other players achieved what Jean Segura did on Monday night. It is not exactly a rare feat. But considering Nick Maton was the 19, 947th player to debut in MLB history, this puts Jean solidly in the top 5% at hitting the baseball in the history of the sport.
I think thats just great. Tip of the cap to you Jean!
4. First Big League Hits
Nick MAY-TON, not MAH-TONE; As I had been pronouncing his name for the last few years as he progressed through the Phillies system, got his first big-league hit on Monday night. This is one of my favorite moments in all of sports. I can only imagine the enormous pressure a young player must feel once he reaches the show to notch that first single.
Mickey Moniak had ten AB’s in 2020 before finally getting a hit and it was a stressful experience for everyone involved. There is nothing worse for player or fan than questioning whether a guy belongs at the highest level. Shout out to Nick Maton for silencing the haters day one with a true seeing eye single.
5. The Cardinals Baby Blue Jerseys; The Best In the League
When I think about the best franchises in baseball the Cardinals are routinely near the top of my list. St. Louis is a team with a proud history and tradition. They are known for having some of the most dedicated and passionate fans in the league, who have rooted for a laundry list of great players.
For my money they also have the best uniforms in the league. These baby blues are fire. Tell me in wrong…I dare you.
Things I Dislike:
- Anything Roman Quinn
Ohhhh Roman. It’s been around five years since the world was introduced to your enticing mix of blinding speed and hitting potential. And yet, just when I thought I couldn’t dislike you any more than I already do, you went ahead and established a new low.
I can excuse that you are frail and find yourself on the disabled list a couple times per season. I can clench my teeth and accept that your career on-base percentage is a dismal .302. I get still get through my day, when I rub my eyes to make sure I am not hallucinating when I find out your OPS+ this season is -14. But there is no chance you’re allowed on a major league roster, if your speciality is speed on the basepaths and you can’t even do that.
In my first post of the season I was extremely critical of the Phillies overly-aggressive approach on the basepaths. This is a great example..
It seems like the go-ahead for this double steal came from Joe Girardi or someone on the coaching staff, so I cant entirely blame Quinn. I certainly can’t think of a worse way to make the last out in an inning. One in which your fastest baserunner is in scoring position.
You are down one run Joe! Roman Quinn is going to score on 90% of the hits in this situation. I have no idea what you gain from a double steal.
2. The Centerfield Position
Roman, Quinn, Adam Haseley, Mickey Moniak. I’m writing this during the Giants game on Monday night and was just informed that it has been eight games since the Phillies got a hit from the centerfield position. EIGHT GAMES! Im curious to know the record. The Phillies have to be close. I can feel it..
I was as depressed as everyone else when Adam Haseley couldn’t hold down the position in the first weeks of the season and subsequently had to leave the team for personal reasons. Honestly, the reason for Adam leaving the team may be that Joe Girardi just doesn’t like him or respect his game. Girardi refused to play Haseley during the 2020 season and I don’t see Haseley ever coming back to a starting role in 2021.
I think we are seriously close to driving up the PA Turnpike and fetching Odubel Herrera. Many may not respect his personal decision making or even think he is the answer at center, but I know for certain Herrera can get a hit every eight games.
3. Relying on Rookies
One of the biggest question marks surrounding the Phils this year was depth. Sure, the starting lineup looks great and has the ability to put up big numbers. But what happens when guys are injured, as inevitably happens during a physically grueling baseball season?
We haven’t even flipped the calendar to May and already the Phillies are being stretched thin by injury and performance issues. On Monday night the starting lineup featured two rookies in Mickey Moniak and Nick Maton who batted in the eight and nine holes respectfully. When you add in the pitcher, this essentially makes the bottom third of the order an offensive pit. One that certainly brings delight to any opposing pitcher looking at the lineup card before a game.
With Scott Kingery and Adam Haseley having ‘worst-case scenario’ seasons so far, the Phillies are playing a dangerous game. If Didi Gregorius or any of the other regulars (Im looking at you Andrew McCutchen) are forced to miss extended time, we may see more 2-0 defeats in the future.
4. Phillies Team Defense
Here we go again with the Phillies dismal defense. Since 2018 it has been a net negative for this team and one of the reasons they have fallen short of the playoffs. The Phils simply are not deep or talented enough to give opponents free runs.
I can’t even say that the team is committing a ton of errors because they are not. They are in the top 10 in fielding percentage at .987 and have only made 7 errors so far; Good for 7th in the league. But the advanced stats tell the story of a team that cant make the big defensive play when they need to.
- Defensive Runs Saved: -6 = 27th in MLB
- Ultimate Zone Rating: -2.7 = 23rd in MLB
- Out of Zone Rating: 42 = 27th in MLB
The last stat is especially telling. The Out of Zone Rating or ‘OOZ’ essentially measure defensive hustle.
The Phillies rank near the bottom or in the bottom half of nearly every advanced defensive metric I could find. Its a troubling trend that I don’t predict will get better. This is simply a team composed of average or below average defensive players.
5. The NBC Sports Philadelphia App on my Xbox
The 7pm hour is a magical time in the Baruti household. After a long day of work I look forward to nothing more than lying on my couch and listening to the sounds of CBP and Independence Blue Cross commercials. Even though I prefer Scott Franzke and LA over the television broadcast. I loyally take in the majority of the game using the NBC Sports App on my Xbox. I would imagine for a generation of cord cutters that many fans my age are in the same boat.
This season the app has been performing worse than the Phillies centerfielders. It’s 2021 and my broadcast is constantly freezing and buffering like an Alexander Ovechkin youtube video highlight video in 2006. Nothing infuriates me more than when my picture freezes a second before Harper hits an upper deck home run. There I am left listening to Tom McCarthy describe a magical moment as I stare at a pitcher in the middle of his wind-up.
What the heck is going on NBC?! Of course its impossible to get any customer service from this giant conglomerate. And if I did finally get ahold of someone, I am positive they would advise me to upgrade my internet service or clear. my cookies. Clear my fucking cookies?!
I cant be the only person in Philadelphia facing this problem. Please for the love of god, let me know!