After an offensive onslaught on Wednesday night, the Philadelphia Phillies took two games from the Pittsburgh Pirates and finally won a series against a team under .500 for the first time in August.
It was a solid three games for the Phillies lineup, who totaled 22 runs and seven home runs against Pirates pitching. With the series win, the Phillies are now 69-63 and remain just two games behind the Cubs for the second National League Wild Card spot.
Here are three numbers that show just how the Phillies were able to take this series:
11 – Phillies To Drive In A Run In This Series
The Phillies lineup has shown incredible potential in small spurts throughout the course of the 2019 season, but has still been frustratingly inconsistent. The root of this inconsistency has been that while some hitters, like Bryce Harper and J.T. Realmuto, have caught fire at certain points, the Phillies have sometimes gotten nothing from non-key contributors, specifically their bench.
This series was a different story, however.
The Phillies got clutch home runs from Brad Miller, Logan Morrison and Sean Rodriguez in this series and the only player to not record an RBI, Andrew Knapp, almost had one on a hard-hit single in the 10th inning of Monday’s game. Adam Haseley, who has struggled of late, had four RBIs of his own in the final two games of this series and kept things moving alongside Cesar Hernandez and Scott Kingery at the back of the lineup.
The Phillies rotation is going to continue to be incredibly inconsistent, so for the team to have a chance down the stretch it will need contributions from all parts of their lineup.
3 – Corey Dickerson Extra-Base Hits
The Phillies are going to have to make a decision regarding Dickerson. He has helped Bryce Harper and J.T. Realmuto to carry this offense in August and while he may have not been in the Phillies future plans before, he may be forcing his way into that discussion.
Dickerson now has five home runs, 13 extra-base hits and 23 RBIs in his 21 games as a Phillie. While Rhys Hoskins has been slumping and Jay Bruce has remained on the injured list, Dickerson has really given this lineup the power that it needs. He had two home runs and a double in this series, and just continues to give the Phillies reason to ponder how to fit him onto the team moving forward.
16.2 – Innings Pitched By Phillies Starters In Series
It wasn’t a great series for the Phillies rotation by any means, but the starters provided length, which has proven to be very important for this team. With the offense scoring runs the way it has been over the last couple weeks, this team can win games just by getting decent starts with decent length from its pitchers.
Jason Vargas and Drew Smyly both unraveled in their last inning of work, but their performances (6 IP/4 ER for Vargas and 5.2 IP/4 ER for Smyly) were enough to give the Phillies a chance to win. Vince Velasquez pitched really well on Wednesday after struggling last week in Miami, throwing five innings while allowing two earned on a Josh Bell home run. Outside of this Miami outing, Velasquez has really kept the Phillies in games of late:
People won't want to hear it, but Vince Velasquez is the Phillies third best starter right now. Six of his last seven starts have been 5+ IP and 3 or less earned runs. The Phillies are 4-2 in those games during which his ERA is 3.00. That outing in Miami was an outlier.
— Jonny Heller (@jonnyheller) August 29, 2019
The Phillies won’t get great outings from any starters outside of Aaron Nola, but consistent outings like they got in these three games are their best shot at making a run at the playoffs.
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