Phillies start of the Regular Season Recap (4/13/21)
The Phillies have a record of 6–3, and are currently atop a division that is projected to be the best in all of baseball, the NL East. The way it has gone so far, this looks like a squad that has a shot at making the wild card, or possibly taking the NL East crown away from the Braves and Mets.
If the Phillies have any hopes of ending the organization’s lengthy ten year playoff drought, then the revamped bullpen has to perform, and so far they have. Last season, the bullpen was easily the worst in baseball, and went down as one of the worst in all of baseball history. So far this season, the bullpen has drastically improved, as they currently possess the tenth best ERA (Earned Run Average) in the big leagues with a 3.73.
Hector Neris has been manager Joe Girardi’s go to closer. Jose Alvarado, Archie Bradley, Connor Brogdon, Sam Coonrod, and Brandon Kintzler, have provided steady relief during the later innings.
Going into this season the starting pitching was viewed as a strength for this ball club mainly because of Aaron Nola and Zach Wheeler, and they have lived up to the hype. Nola continues to pitch like a CY Young award finalists, as he has an ERA of 2.53. Knock former General Manager Matt Klentak all you want, but the signing of Zach Wheeler has payed major dividends. He is translating his play from last season to this season, as he currently has an ERA of 2.31.
It finally looks like that Zach Eflin is finally living up to his potential. Over the last few seasons, he showed promise, but consistency has been a struggle for him. Through his first two starts, he is showing more confidence and consistency as the ball club’s third starter, which will ultimately take off a lot of the load on Nola and Wheeler’s shoulders.
The team’s biggest strength is their ability to put points up on the board. It took a little bit for the offense to get going, but it looks like they have finally found their grove.
JT Realmuto continues to play like the best catcher in all of baseball, as he is off to a scorching hot start offensively. He is currently averaging a career high in batting average, on base percentage, slugging percentage, and on base plus slugging. To go along with him, Rhys Hoskins, Bryce Harper and Didi Gregorius have provided a lot of the team’s offensive firepower.