This stat makes the Phillies’ inconsistent start to season even more baffling

Apr 14, 2022; Miami, Florida, USA; Philadelphia Phillies right fielder Bryce Harper (3) looks on after flying out to end the game against the Miami Marlins at loanDepot Park. Mandatory Credit: Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 14, 2022; Miami, Florida, USA; Philadelphia Phillies right fielder Bryce Harper (3) looks on after flying out to end the game against the Miami Marlins at loanDepot Park. Mandatory Credit: Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports /
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This Phillies stat makes their inconsistent start to the season even crazier

The Philadelphia Phillies are 11-13, third in the National League East, and play hotter and colder than a Katy Perry song.

And according to an unhappy St. Louis Cardinals fan, one stat, in particular, makes the Phillies’ inconsistent play even more baffling:

While the fan was complaining about the Cardinals, who rank dead-last, the Phillies stood out at the other end of the chart, as they rank fourth in MLB in hard-hit rate as a collective unit.

Did you know the Phillies lead the National League in hard-hit rate?

Not only do the Phillies lead their division in hard-hit rate, they’re also mashing harder than any other team in the entire National League. Only the Yankees, Blue Jays, and White Sox have higher rates.

Hard-hit rate measures exactly what the name suggests, but as with most baseball stats, it’s far more nuanced than face value. According to Insider Baseball, the metric gives “a more accurate representation of the quality of contact.”

To make the situation even more puzzling, not a single Phillie is in the top-20 for hard-hit % by individual hitters. Alec Bohm and Rhys Hoskins rank 22nd and 23rd, respectively, right behind Blue Jays slugger Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Bryce Harper’s 35 hits with 95+ mph exit velocity are tied for ninth.

The Phillies aren’t the only team whose play contradicts specific metrics; the White Sox are 10-13 on the season. It’s quintessential Phillies to be consistent in how inconsistent they are. It’s feast or famine every game, and the results – or lack thereof – over the past decade speak for themselves.

However, this is the first season in franchise history in which the Phillies have a payroll that exceeds the luxury tax. They are officially one of the biggest spenders in the league, and yet they’re as inconsistent as ever. Stat nitpicking aside, it’s simply unacceptable.

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