The Phillies have won eight straight and are now back to .500 for the first time since May 14. They are also 7-0 under interim manager Rob Thomson.
When Dave Dombrowski made the decision to fire former manager Joe Girardi, he did it with the hope that the team can still salvage a season that was quickly spiraling.
“I think the most important part is we’re going to turn this around and I think we still have the capabilities to do it,” Dombrowski said at a press conference last Friday. “I think we need a different voice in the clubhouse.”
As it turns out, appointing Thomson has acted as a reset for a club that Dombrowski classified as looking “tight” prior to the managerial change.
The reigning National League MVP agrees. In an interview with Jim Rome on Friday, Bryce Harper acknowledged that there’s “a different vibe” with Thomson as manager.
We’re just playing good baseball. I think the week started off kind of rough with Joe Girardi being let go and [Rob Thomson] coming in. I think [Thomson] brings just a different vibe. I think that’s what we all said and kind of talked about. It’s just different. Not saying that Joe didn’t do a great job for us. He put everything out there for us each and every day. He worked his tail off, was away from his family each day just like any of us. He supported us each and every day as well. But [Thomson] is just a different vibe. He just comes in and he has a calming voice and he’s been around the game for a long time and been on a lot of winning teams, been around a lot of winning teams and been around a lot of great managers with one of them being Joe Girardi. He’s learned a lot from him as well. It’s just being able to kind of reset and take a deep breath and put that stuff behind us and go and play our game no matter how we’re feeling or what’s going on. I think we’ve done a great job of that this last week.Bryce Harper on the Jim Rome Show
Since Thomson took over as manager on June 3, the Phillies are tied for the league lead with Minnesota in home runs (19) and slugging percentage (.599) and are first in RBIs (53). The pitching staff also has the fourth-best ERA in baseball (2.57).
Better play has to be the biggest factory in why the vibe around the Phillies has improved dramatically within the last week, but it does help that the players have responded well to the change.
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