The Phillies playoff drought is the longest in the National League, that is really hard to believe from the days of 2007-2010 when the Phillies were on a constant to be in the playoffs. Well, time flies as they say, and it has been flying by even with a Pandemic that we’ve had to deal with and the Phillies lack of an appearance in the playoffs. In this article, I aim to take a look at the Phillies top two starters for this season and look at whether they can propel them into a playoff spot.
The Phillies ‘ace pitcher’ has made a change, from Aaron Nola to Zack Wheeler. It was a process that saw most of the importance of being an ace being transferred from Nola with a series of him being hit around with the home run ball later in the games.
As of the morning that I am writing this article on 7/19/21, Zack Wheeler is second in the MLB for strikeouts, he has 144, the top guy for that stat is Gerrit Cole on the Yankees with 158. He’s a half a dozen strikeouts better than Jacob DeGrom. Could you imagine the season the Mets would be having if they still had Wheeler on their staff? They would probably be 20-games over .500 with both on them on the same rotation. Speaking of the Mets, Aaron Nola tied Tom Seaver’s long standing record of striking out consecutive batters this season:
Zack Wheeler is 10th in ERA (2.44) in the MLB as of today, in the National League alone, he is 8th in that stat. Those numbers are giving him the ‘Ace’ status for the starter with the Phillies. Aaron Nola is 32nd in the National League for ERA at 4.53, a number we’re not too use to seeing associated with him.
Nola has given up 15 HR up to this point in the season, and Wheeler just 8. The ER each pitcher has given up is Wheeler 34 and Nola 51. Total hits given up is very close, Wheeler 97 and Nola 100. So this is interesting to see if Nola can turn it around and have a better performance from Tuesday when he is scheduled to pitch against the Yankees.
Ok, so we can see in the comparison of the Phils top 2 pitchers, it’s an interesting comparison.
Let’s move on to offense: Look at this stat, in the last 7 days, the Phil with the best BA is Travis Jankowski, he’s batting .636 in the past week (1.364 OPS), he’s played in 4 games with 7 H in 11 AB, and 4 RBI – that is great. We’ve also seen JT Realmuto start to show his worth to the team on offense with his .385 BA in the last 7 days, 5-13 with 4 RBI.
The Phils take on the Yankees in the Bronx on Tuesday night at 7:05 PM, Aaron Nola vs. Domingo Herman.