Series Six Pack of Notes/Highlights:
1. Rob Thomson finally made a move at the two hole in the lineup. Moving Turner from the second spot in the lineup to the seventh. Trea Turner, by his own accord, is having the worst season of his career. He was a black hole at the two spot and hopefully moving him down in the order relieves some pressure. He went 2-8 in the 7th spot in the final two games of the series.
2. Castellanos was moved to the two spot in the order to take the place of Turner but did not fair much better going 1-10 with five strikeouts. He’s has a rough go of it since the All-Star break, showing a lot of the same tendencies he had in his less than stellar 2022 campaign. He is batting .162 with 35 strikeouts and two walks.
3. Cristopher Sanchez continues to dazzle since being inserted into the rotation. In game three he was pulled after five innings and just 73 pitches without giving up a hit. His era dropped to 2.66 and his whip sits at .908. He’s been a revelation for this Phillies team. It’s just a shame they don’t ever provide run support for him. He has not recorded a “win” despite his great pitching.
4. The defense this series was exceptionally poor. A number of mental lapses that led to the Pirates scoring runs that that they shouldn’t have. Situations where the defensive communication was nonexistent is becoming a common theme for this team. Easy ground balls are being booted and throws are off the mark. The pitching staff must be getting tired of not having even an average defense behind them providing them the support they need.
5. The offense as a whole did not have the series you would expect against the lowly Pirates. It has been scuffling for quite some time but was especially not at its best this series. They left a total of 28 guys on base in the three games and struck out an astonishing 39 times. In comparison, against the Orioles, they left 16 guys on base and struck out just 17 times. The strikeouts are killing this team as they are just non-productive outs. The team looks lost at times at the plate.
6. It’s a wonder to anyone who watches this team as to why Stott continues to sit, even a little bit, against left-handed pitching. Thomson has had some questionable calls and decisions this year but this one is the most baffling. Stott has been one of the best hitters in the game this year and definitely on the Phillies. In 100 at bats this year he’s batting .310 with an OPS of .764. I can understand why Thomson would want to give his guys a rest, but it’s been more than usual for Stott who has earned the right to be left in.