For the Phils as a whole, it was an up and down week. For Rhys Hoskins, it was up, up and away. The Phils lost 3 of 4 to the Marlins but it was not for lack of trying…or hitting. The Phils conceded 28 runs in their 3 losses and shutout the Fish in their only win. The defending World Series Champs came into town and the Phils took 2 of 3 but the 1 loss was tough to watch. After a series opening 7-1 win, the Cubs pounded out 17 runs in game 2 before the Phils capped the series off with a 6-3 win to end the week at 3-4. The only constant during the week was Hoskins (he even plays some defense too- see Sunday’s triple play). As the season winds down to the final month, Hoskins is on record setting pace but we’ll see how much of his current productivity he can maintain.
Offense– It was actually a very good week offensively despite the end results. The Phils put up 43 runs in their 7 games led by their current rookie phenom. Hoskins hit .385 with 6 HR (including a current 5 game streak), 1 2B, 3 BB’s and 15 RBI. He set multiple records for fastest to reach each respective HR total. Pedro Florimon and Jorge Alfaro have surprised people since their respective call-ups as well. Florimon hit .300 and Alfaro hit .308 during the course of the week. Tommy Joseph got out of his funk and hit 3 HR’s and 3 2B’s but his biggest struggle this season has been consistency. Maikel Franco continues to struggle and shows no signs of turning things around which has the Phils brass giving both J.P. Crawford and Scott Kingery time at 3B at Lehigh Valley over the last week. Cameron Rupp was the largest disappointment going just 1-11 while Alfaro set his eyes on taking his job next year. All in all, it was a fairly successful week but the pitching let them down.
Pitching– For as much as I have blasted Adam Morgan for 2 years, I feel I need to start there. Morgan has turned things around considerably of late. Over his last 10 outings, Morgan has pitched 13.1 innings and allowed just 2 ER lowering his ERA by nearly 2 points. Hoby Milner has been matching him along the way. While only being used in lefty specialist situations, Milner pitched 12 times in August without conceding a run lowering his ERA to 2.25. Edubray Rams was on a similar path until giving up a 5 spot in San Fran last week. He pitched 2 multi-inning scoreless games this week though. Beyond that, there wasn’t much to write about this week as the starting rotation faltered most of the week with the exception of Mark Leiter Jr. who pitched 7 scoreless innings in his lone start of the week. Jerad Eickhoff also had a good outing with the exception of making it just 5 innings. Nick Pivetta, on the other hand pitched just 6.1 innings in 2 starts combined while Aaron Nola got lit up for 7 runs. Overall, it was teh bullpen’s week to shine (with some drastic and intentionally left out performances). If the 2 can get on the same page consistently, Pete Mackanin and Co. may just have a chance to do some evaluation for next year.
Around the N.L. East
Nationals– Injuries are taking their toll on the Nats but luckily for them, they have no serious threats chasing them at they can coast into the playoffs and hope to get some of their players back. After taking 2 of 3 from the Astros in Houston (and getting out of town just in time) they split a four game set with the Mets in D.C. that concluded with a Sunday doubleheader. They’ll start the week at home with a 3 game series with the Marlins before 4 games in Milwaukee with the Brewers. The Nats are pretty much locked into the 2 spot and are just hoping to be healthy when the playoffs roll around.
Giancarlo Stanton’s– The MGS’s hit 5 more HR’s on their way to a 6-1 week. After taking 3 of 4 from the Phils, the MGS’s went home and dispatched the Padres with more raw power. It’s very likely that the MGS’s are showcasing their biggest piece, Giancarlo Stanton (who happened to hit his 50th HR on Sunday) with the hope of offloading him in the offseason and getting rid of the crazy contract they gave him just a year ago. With 3 in Washington and 4 against the Phils (unfortunately for Stanton, not in Philly) this week, the MGS’s will be setting their sights on the wild card race where they are currently 4.5 games out.
Braves– The Braves dropped 4 more this week as compared to just 2 wins. That’s another way of saying they aren’t good. But hey, they are still better than the Mets or Phils. After losing 2 of 3 to the Mariners, they scrounged up a win against Colorado. Things don’t get any easier as they come to Philly to face the Phils. Yes, I just wrote that sentence. The Phils have had the Braves number all season and will be looking to add to it with help from their recent offensive surge. They’ll continue their road trip in Chicago with 4 against the Cubs who are currently trying to hold off the Brewers (2 back) in the Central.
Mets– With an 8 game in 7 days stretch, the Mets could have been worse…but not much. The D-backs came into New York and took 3 of 4 before the Mets went to D.C. and split with the Nats. They’ll stay on the road this week with 3 in Cincy and 3 in Houston (as of now).
The Phils will look to add to their domination of the Braves with 3 games here before heading to Miami for 4. Both Rhys Hoskins and Giancarlo Stanton will be looking for different HR records and it should be fun to watch. THe rest of it…who knows.