PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - JULY 06: Kyle Schwarber #12 of the Philadelphia Phillies rounds the bases on a solo home run in the fourth inning against the Washington Nationals at Citizens Bank Park on July 06, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

The Athletic’s Jayson Stark is literally a Hall of Fame journalist. He is one of the best insiders in the game and he joins the afternoon show every Wednesday at 4:30 pm. There is a lot to talk about with the Phillies as they have clawed their way back into the playoff hunt. Entering Thursday’s game the Phillies are firmly in a Wild Card spot which is a surprise considering where the team was a month ago. A big reason for the Phillies turn around might be the change in the dugout. The Phillies fired manager Joe Girardi on June 3rd and replaced him with Rob Thompson. Since then the Phillies have been on a tear. So whats been the difference?

“If you were to ask me one word to describe what Rob Thomson has brought to that team it would be stability. Stability to the equilibrium of the entire roster, stability to the lineup, much more orderly and predictable. Stability to the bullpen, which has responded. They needed that stability, and it has shown up in the results.”
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Another reason for the Phillies amazing month of June was the hot bat of Kyle Schwarber. Schwarber had 12 home runs, 27 runs scored, and 27 runs batted in. All led the majors in the month. Schwarber’s impact is coming from the leadoff spot and Jayson talked about what that does for a team
“To have all these home runs out of the leadoff spot is just such a shot of adrenaline to your team. The only player in history to hit more than 15 homers as a lead-off hitter for the Phillies, you can probably name them, Jimmy Rollins, Juan Samuel, and Lenny Dykstra. That’s the guy they thought they were signing. He’s been exactly what they drew up.”