ST LOUIS, MO - JULY 11: Aaron Nola #27 of the Philadelphia Phillies delivers a pitch against the St. Louis Cardinals in the first inning at Busch Stadium on July 11, 2022 in St Louis, Missouri.

By Dylan MacKinnon

The Phillies’ first half was quite the adventure. It started disastrously. So much so that Joe Girardi was fired two months in. Throw in some key injuries, it’s a miracle the Phillies find themselves right in the Wild Card Hunt. But how did they turn it around? What was so different under Rob Thomson? Let’s look at the 5 numbers from the first half of the Phillies, that will hopefully help tell the story of the Phillies season so far.

.659

The Phillies are 27-14 since Thomson took over. That stretch has vaulted them into the playoff race. Only two teams have a current record above a .659 winning percentage. The Yankees, and the Dodgers. Of course in that same span the Braves have been just as hot. But don’t let their elite play distract you from how good this Phillies team has been. And that is with them dealing with several injuries. No Bryce Harper for much of that, no Jean Segura, no Zach Eflin, and no Ranger Suarez for a while. They are thriving in a period many would have doubted they could even survive. Has it been perfect? No. But this team has a better chance than the Phillies have had in a while to end the playoff drought.

.284

The Lineup has had it rough without Harper. In fact in July so far they are only getting on base as a team at a rate of .284. Note that isn’t their average, that is their on-base percentage. Only the Athletics have a lower OBP this season than that. The lineup was supposed to be the strength of the team. But as Ray Dunne’s tweet above shows, that hasn’t been the case without Harper. JT, Hoskins, and Bohm are the only guys hitting well in that span. Harper is still a ways off from returning. Jean Segura is closer, but still a couple of weeks away. They need reinforcements and may need to seek them in the trade market.

3.06

Since Thomson took over, the Phillies’ bullpen has an ERA of 3.06. That would be good for 3rd in the league over the full season. Under Girardi, their bullpen era was 4.12. which was 21st in the league. They went from a mediocre bullpen to perhaps the best in the league over the last month and a half. it has been a long time since they even had a passable bullpen, but they seem to have figured things out. Seranthony Dominguez and Brad Hand are trading closing opportunities, and most of the rest of the guys are playing their part. Not sure what Thomson did, but it has certainly helped the bullpen.

0.9

Aaron Nola’s HRs per 9 innings allowed is down to just 0.9. He has given up just 13 of them this year. This comes after he had a huge issue with HRs last year, especially with 2 out homers. The last time he had an HR/9 below 1, was the year he was a CY Young Finalist. Aaron Nola was rightly the recipient of criticism all offseason. He was not good at all last year. But credit where it is due, he has turned it around and has been among the best pitchers in the NL.

.473

This number isn’t actually from the first half, but it’s about what is to come. The Phillies have the third easiest remaining schedule, with their opponents having a combined winning percentage of .473. They get to play the Nationals 11 times. The Cubs 6 times. They play the Marlins 9 times. The Pirates and Reds 7 times each. And then the D-Backs 3 times. Yes, they still have to play the Braves and Mets a few times. but overall the hardest part of their schedule is behind them.

Bob Cooney- I’m A Believer This Phillies Team Will Make The Postseason