2. We Have Pitching, Too
For some reason, Philadelphia’s pitching staff doesn’t seem to get as much credit as the offense. Maybe those guys just need to start hitting more homers.
Seriously, though, the Phillies’ staff is pretty underrated. With a deep rotation and a solid bullpen, Philly ranks third in the NL in ERA and fourth in strikeouts.
The Michael Lorenzen trade hasn’t worked out as expected, but the Phillies still have five healthy quality starters in Aaron Nola, Zack Wheeler, Taijuan Walker, Ranger Suarez and Christopher Sanchez. None of them has an ERA over 4.60, so there are no weak spots there.
The bullpen’s been a bit of a rollercoaster with eight different pitchers recording saves, but at the end of the day Craig Kimbrel is still one of the better closers in baseball. Matt Strahm has done an excellent job setting him up (and opening when needed), preventing the late-game meltdowns that plagued us in recent years.
Rob Thomson has done a good job managing the bullpen as well, as Kimbrel and Strahm are the only relievers with over 60 innings. That means the relief corps should still be relatively fresh come October, which is when the bullpen becomes even more important.