Phillies Starting Pitchers Are Putting Up Lights-Out Numbers

Vince Velasquez #21 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
Vince Velasquez #21 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /
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The Philadelphia Phillies bullpen may continue to disappoint — nearly blowing yet another save in Monday’s series opener victory against the Miami Marlins — but their starting rotation has been lights-out.

Since June 25’s road doubleheader against the New York Mets, Phillies starters have combined to post an impressive 0.83 ERA and 34-to-6 strikeouts-to-walks ratio.

According to NBC Sports Philadelphia’s John Clark, the ERA total is the lowest for the team over a six-start span since the 2010 season.

Phillies starting pitchers, since June 25, 2021:

  • Zack Wheeler: 1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 GS, 7 IP, 27 BF, 4 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 8 SO
  • Vince Velasquez: 1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 GS, 7 IP, 23 BF, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 7 SO
  • Zach Eflin: 0-0, 1.50 ERA, 1 GS, 6 IP, 25 BF, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 SO
  • Aaron Nola: 0-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 GS, 5 1/3 IP, 22 BF, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 12 SO
  • Matt Moore: 0-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 GS, 5 IP, 19 BF, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 SO
  • Spencer Howard: 0-0, 7.71 ERA, 1 GS, 2 1/3 IP, 12 BF, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 1 SO
  • Combined: 2-0, 0.83 ERA, 6 GS, 32 2/3 IP, 128 BF, 20 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 0 HR, 6 BB, 34 SO

Included among these outings was Nola’s historic performance against the Mets, when he struck out an MLB record-tying 10 consecutive batters. Most recently, Velasquez posted his longest start (7 innings pitched) since he threw as many innings in Arizona on August 5, 2019.

If you remove Howard’s start — in which he allowed a pair of runs in just 2 1/3 innings — the rest of the Phillies starters would have an even-better 0.30 combined ERA and just one earned run over that span.

Looking ahead, Nola and Eflin will start the next two games to close out the Marlins series. Then, Wheeler, Moore, and likely Velasquez will take the mound as the Phillies welcome Fernando Tatis Jr. and the “Slam” Diego Padres to Citizens Bank Park for a three-game series.

While Phillies starting pitchers have been near-perfect, the bullpen has been anything but over this stretch — going 1-3 with a 6.35 ERA, five blown saves, five home runs, 21 runs, and 12 earned runs allowed spanning 16 appearances and 17 innings pitched.

As was the theme in the 2020 season, one can only imagine “what could have been,” if the bullpen was even average instead of historically bad.

More. J.A. Happ, 2009 Phillies Rotation Enter History Books. light

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