Phillies: Five things we learned from the Rockies series

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May 25, 2017; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Tommy Joseph (19) has ice dumped on him by catcher Cameron Rupp (29) and third baseman Andres Blanco (4) after hitting a walk off RBI single during the eleventh inning against the Colorado Rockies at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
May 25, 2017; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Tommy Joseph (19) has ice dumped on him by catcher Cameron Rupp (29) and third baseman Andres Blanco (4) after hitting a walk off RBI single during the eleventh inning against the Colorado Rockies at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports /
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May 14, 2017; Washington, DC, USA; Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Jeremy Hellickson (58) pitches against the Washington Nationals in the first inning at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports /

Jeremy Hellickson can’t pitch to contact forever

Jeremy Hellickson has given up the most contact of his career this season. His 84.9% contact rate is the 11th-highest among qualified pitchers in the league this year. In addition, his 7.2% swinging strike rate is the lowest in his career and 12th-lowest in MLB this year.

May 2, 2016; St. Louis, MO, USA; Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Jeremy Hellickson (58) walks off the field after the fifth inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
May 2, 2016; St. Louis, MO, USA; Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Jeremy Hellickson (58) walks off the field after the fifth inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports /

Hellickson’s game this season has been avoiding hard contact. His 27.9% hard contact rate is 16th-lowest this season. That way, hitters struggle to reach base when they put the ball in play as opposing hitters have a .222 batting average on balls in play against Hellickson. He also gave up few free passes with a 4.5% walk rate headed into Wednesday’s game.

Wednesday night against the Rockies Hellickson couldn’t pitch to contact against Colorado’s heavy-hitting offense. He gave up seven runs on eight hits along with giving up a home run. The Rockies hit line drives 31.6% of the time against Hellickson, prompting them to so many hits.

Hellickson also struggled to keep his control as he allowed four walks. Combined with the high hit count, Hellickson was doomed to a poor start.

After seeing Hellickson get rocked by the Rockies (ba dum tiss) it shows a chink in his armor that more teams could exploit over this season. He was bound to have a poor start with his strategy, and more could come if he doesn’t improve upon it.

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