The Phillies are in the midst of their best run in recent memory.
They have won 10 of their last 11 games, including five straight, and sit just two games behind the Atlanta Braves for first place in the NL East.
They have a 93.6% chance to make the postseason, according to Fangraphs. The expanded playoff format has made it not a question of whether they can play meaningful October baseball for the first time since 2011, but rather how successful they can be doing it.
Starting pitcher Jake Arrieta, who rebounded off his worst start in a Phillies uniform for a strong seven inning performance on Friday night, thinks that this team has a shot to make a run.
“This is absolutely a team that can contend deep into the playoffs,” Arrieta said to reporters in postgame press availability. “There’s no question about it.”
The Phillies lineup has been especially good all season long, and improvements throughout the pitching staff have helped give this team its best run in years. Additions in the bullpen have helped solidify it after a historically bad start, leading to this hot stretch.
They have also been aided by the addition of Alec Bohm, who has appeared to settle in defensively after struggling to start the season while continuing to show maturity at the plate. Arrieta had praise for Bohm, who made a very nice defensive play to save an extra-base hit in the sixth inning of Friday’s game.
“Can’t say enough about these guys and the way Bohm has played third base and the way he looks at the plate,” Arrieta mentioned. “His progression has happened really quick.”
Arrieta recalled the Chicago Cubs team he was on, and compared Bohm to some of the young players on that team who made a difference as soon as they were called up. This comes just a day after Bryce Harper said compared Bohm to ex-teammate Jayson Werth and said that he could contend for MVP awards later in his career.
Bohm has made an immediate impact after playing zero games above Double-A prior to this season, and deepens an already impressive lineup. His addition, combined with improvements throughout the rest of the Phillies roster, has them winning games and ready for the playoffs.
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