Phillies offense finding its stride as schedule soon eases

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PHILADELPHIA, PA - JUNE 18: Odubel Herrera #37 of the Philadelphia Phillies celebrates after hitting a three-run home run in the first inning during a game against the St. Louis Cardinals at Citizens Bank Park on June 18, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - JUNE 18: Odubel Herrera #37 of the Philadelphia Phillies celebrates after hitting a three-run home run in the first inning during a game against the St. Louis Cardinals at Citizens Bank Park on June 18, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images) /
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After struggling for quite some time, the Phillies offense is finally hitting its stride. This comes as the schedule gets much easier in the month of July.

After the Phillies reached the top of the NL East for a brief time, their offense completely shut down. For two weeks from May 27 to June 9, they held the league’s second-worst weighted on-base average (.267) and OPS (.602). They had the third-fewest home runs (nine) and second-fewest runs scored (39). The team struck out more often than anyone else in this time.

During these offensive struggles, Philadelphia had a 3-10 record, falling from first place all the way to 4.5 games behind the division lead. At often times during this stretch, they had plenty of opportunities to score runs, but simply failed to convert.

Thankfully, things are finally looking up for this team. They are 6-2 in their last eight games, picking up two consecutive series wins for the first time in two months. The offense has played a huge part in this recent turnaround.

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Heading into Tuesday night’s matchup with the Cardinals, Philadelphia ranks eighth in wOBA and seventh in OPS since June 10. They have 12 home runs and 42 runs scored, good for seventh and fifth-best in the league in this time. Their strikeout rate has dropped dramatically to 23.5 percent (15th in the league) while leading the National League with an 11.4 percent walk rate.

This offensive turnaround has been sparked by several hitters performing far better at the plate. Rhys Hoskins came off the disabled list June 9 and has been on fire since then. In nine games since returning, he has four home runs, 11 hits, five walks, and a 1.135 OPS.

Odubel Herrera, who struggled once he lost his on-base streak, now has three home runs in his last four games with nine hits since he was benched for a game during the Rockies series. Even J.P. Crawford has found his plate discipline again, walking in 17.9 percent of his plate appearances since returning from the disabled list.

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The offense returning has counteracted a shaky bullpen, leading to the team’s success in the last week. It could perform even better once the month of July rolls around.

The Phillies still have another tough two weeks coming up with two series against the 38-32 Nationals and one against the 47-22 Yankees. If they can hover around .500 during these three series, they will be in great position to climb back into the division race once July rolls around.

Next month, the only teams with winning records Philadelphia will face are the Los Angeles Dodgers and Boston Red Sox. They play four last-place steam (Padres, Marlins, Reds, and Orioles) as well as two fourth-place teams (Pirates and Mets). They should be well above .500 by the end of the month when they play the Red Sox.

Next: 1st round pick Alec Bohm shines in pro debut

Thanks to a rebounding offense and an easier schedule coming up, the losses should stop piling up like they were two weeks ago.

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