The Phillies return home after a brutal 10-game road stretch against the division rival New York Mets, and Washington Nationals. The team struggled mightily, finishing 3-7 during that stretch.
What hurt the Phillies the most was their lack of offense, as they scored three runs or fewer in seven of the 10 games.
Through 13 games in 2015, the Phillies’ offense ranks 27th in MLB in team batting average at .212, and 29th in runs with 32. While these numbers can be credited to the mediocrity of the offense, some credit has to be given to the starting pitching the offense has faced, especially over their last 10 games.
The Nationals, who accounted for seven of the 10 games against the Phillies, have one of the best starting rotations in all of MLB with Max Scherzer, Steven Strasburg, Jordan Zimmermann, Doug Fister, and Gio Gonzalez. The Nats’ starting pitching ranks seventh early this season with a 3.28 ERA, while Scherzer (0.83 ERA) and Fister (0.69 ERA) are both ranked in the top five among all starters in MLB. Needless to say, a lot team’s offenses are going to struggle when faced with a rotation as dominant as Washington’s.
The Mets accounted for the remaining three games over the 10-game stretch, and their starting pitching has been even better than the Nationals’. Through 13 games, the Mets’ starters rank fifth in MLB with a 9-2 record and a 2.84 ERA. Bartolo Colon (2.25 ERA), Jacob deGrom (0.93 ERA), and Jon Niese (1.59 ERA), and Matt Harvey (3.50 ERA) have been rock solid for the Mets early on. Dillon Gee has been the only blemish thus far, as he has given up nine ERs in 10.2 innings pitched.
The Phillies’ offense in 2015 will not be great by any stretch of the imagination, especially if their most valuable bats in Chase Utley and Ryan Howard continue to struggle. However, the offense could start to look better as it faces lower-quality starting pitching.
With the Miami Marlins, whose starting pitching ranks 26th in MLB with a 5.23 ERA, coming to Philadelphia to start a three game series, the Phillies’ offense will look to get on track.