Phillies hot streak in June leads to demoralizing results

Trea Turner, Philadelphia Phillies (Mandatory Credit: Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports)
Trea Turner, Philadelphia Phillies (Mandatory Credit: Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Philadelphia Phillies were absolutely dominant in the month of June… and it didn’t really help them in the standings. 

The Philadelphia Phillies got off to a slow start last season and ended up in the World Series. Well, history often repeats itself. The Phils started the 2023 season playing below .500 baseball until June. Now, in the blink of an eye, they’re back in the wild card hunt.

It’s impossible not to be optimistic if you’re a Phils fan.

Trea Turner is starting, slowly but surely, to look more like the Trea Turner Philadelphia paid $300 million last winter.

Nick Castellanos and Kyle Schwarber are back in form. So is the bullpen, led by a vintage Craig Kimbrel who smoked 21 batters in 13 innings this month.

The Phillies haven’t even been treated to a decent version of Bryce Harper yet. He’s in the middle of the worst slump of his career and Philadelphia looks very much like a contender despite that.

Unfortunately, the Phillies still have a lot of work left ahead of them. A dominant June better positioned them for the wild card hunt, but it didn’t exactly improve their standing in the NL East.

Philadelphia Phillies lose ground in NL East despite monster June

The Phillies went 18-7 in the month of June. That’s a remarkable win percentage for any team. In fact, it’s the third-best record of any team this month. The two teams with better records in June? Atlanta and Miami.

The Braves went 20-4. The Marlins went 19-7. So, after a month of hard work, the Phillies still lost ground in the divisional standings. That’s indicative of the talent currently saturated in the East, but it’s also just plain depressing for the Phillies.

If Philadelphia can maintain anything resembling its current pace, then the standings will start to shift in their favor. That’s easier said than done, however, and there’s no reason to believe the Braves or Marlins will decline any time soon. Those might be the two best teams in the National League, period.

The Braves in particular feel like kings of the hill, looking down on all their subjects. The Phillies have spent a lot of money to build out their roster, but the pitching rotation pales in comparison to Atlanta’s, and the Braves offense is clicking on all cylinders right now.

What Philadelphia really needs is something closer to MVP-level Bryce Harper. He’s arguably the best hitter of his generation, at least in the National League, but the results aren’t there right now. If he can start hitting for power the way Philadelphia is accustomed to, maybe the Braves still to hear footsteps.

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