Phillies

A striking similarity between the 2020 and 2008 Phillies

Phillies

The Phillies are 32 games into the season and, already, every position player on the active roster from Bryce Harper and J.T. Realmuto to Phil Gosselin and Neil Walker has keyed a win.

Walker and Scott Kingery had done the least offensively for the Phillies but both have been instrumental in victories over the last week. Walker had the big two-run single in the 3-0 win over Max Scherzer Wednesday and said after the game that this is the deepest offense he's been a part of. Kingery hit a walk-off three-run homer Friday.

The first thing that came to mind after Walker's big game in a rare start was the ball So Taguchi hit over Endy Chavez's head at Shea Stadium in July 2008 to tie a game in the ninth inning. Taguchi was the least productive position player on that year's roster but even he had the moment in a dramatic win.

A month after that in '08, Eric Bruntlett hit a game-tying double with two outs in the ninth to help the Phillies beat the Mets and move ahead of them into first place. Everyone on that team had their regular-season moment.

A few weeks ago, one of the main talking points regarding the Phillies' offense was its reliance on Harper and Realmuto. But this team keeps winning games while those two have experienced their inevitable slowdown. 

In the last two weeks, Harper has hit .150 and Realmuto .229. Combined, they've hit .193. They've driven in only 12 of the Phillies' 74 runs over that span. The Phils went 8-6 in those games, making up for all of their early losses when both superstars were on fire.

 

Offensively, it's been a full team effort.

• While Harper and Realmuto have slumped, Rhys Hoskins has gone 16 for 44 (.364) with five doubles, five homers and 11 RBI over his last 11 games. 

• Andrew McCutchen's been hot a bit longer, hitting .333 with four doubles, five homers and 18 RBI in his last 16 games.

• Didi Gregorius and Alec Bohm are a combined 17 for 43 (.395) with runners in scoring position.

• Jay Bruce has homered in two of three games since returning from the IL, and before that had two three-run homers.

• Jean Segura has a hit in 20 of his 28 games. Last week, he hit a three-run double in a two-run win over the Nationals.

• Roman Quinn has had a game-winning slide and a game-winning outfield assist.

• Gosselin provided the most offense in the Phillies' first win of the season with a multi-homer game, and in the next series drove in two runs in a one-run win over the Yankees.

• Andrew Knapp has made the most of his playing time, reaching base in 13 of 25 plate appearances.

• The only position player currently with the Phillies who hasn't provided the main highlight in a win is Adam Haseley, who's hit .296 in limited time. He did all he could in his first start of the season, doubling twice in a four-hit game on a day the Phillies' bullpen was ransacked for seven runs.

This offense looks as deep and as potent as the Phillies' offense in 2007 or 2009, their two best hitting teams of that five-year peak.

The 2007 Phillies hit .274 with an .812 OPS.

The 2009 Phillies hit .258 with a .781 OPS.

The 2020 Phillies have hit .261 with an .809 OPS. The Phillies' OPS this year is 92 points higher than the 102-win Phillies in 2011.

It was no coincidence that the Phillies' most successful team of that era was the one with the best bullpen. The Brad Lidge-Ryan Madson-J.C. Romero trio was a major separator in 2008. The 2020 Phillies aren't remotely close in that regard, even after the four bullpen acquisitions, but David Phelps will be a huge help. Getting Brandon Workman right is a priority. He's put 18 men on base and stranded 14 of them, a trend no pitcher can rely upon.