Phillies in playoff form with strong April finish

The Phillies started slow but turned it on as April progressed, and now, they look like the playoff team we all think they are.
Philadelphia Phillies v San Diego Padres
Philadelphia Phillies v San Diego Padres / Denis Poroy/GettyImages

After getting off to a slow start through the first week of the 2024 season, the Philadelphia Phillies gradually gained momentum over the course of April. Beginning with the series versus the Washington Nationals on April 5, Philly took care of business, winning each of their five three-game series and splitting their two four-game series.

They swept clubs they were better than, such as the Colorado Rockies and Chicago White Sox. The Phillies also won all three games on the road against the San Diego Padres. Philadelphia ended April winning one of two contests in their three-game series versus the Los Angeles Angels (they also won the series finales on May 1).

Phillies in playoff form with strong April finish

The Phillies offense gradually came to life at a more consistent rate as April progressed. Since April 16, Alec Bohm has had a minimum of one hit in 15 consecutive games. The infielder received recognition for his play as he was named the NL Player of the Week recently.

Philadelphia’s tendency to hit multiple home runs during games should come as no surprise, which is why the organization led the National League with 34 during the season’s first month.

The franchise’s high home run total coincides with their 124 RBI, which was first in baseball. Bohm led the club with 28, followed by Bryce Harper and Kyle Schwarber, who finished with 18 and 16, respectively.

Phillies' starting rotation had an exceptional April

The Phillies starting pitching was significant to the club’s success during April. Zack Wheeler, Aaron Nola, Ranger Suárez and Spencer Turnbull all pitched well overall during the season’s first month.

Wheeler, despite not getting enough run support in a few of his outings, shouldered the load and kept the Phillies in games. Nola tends to surrender home runs to his opponents during his starts but remained solid as well.

The unexpected surprises were Suárez performing like a No. 1 starter and Turnbull's performance while Taijuan Walker was on the IL.

Suárez has become a dependable starter in the rotation over the last few seasons. However, his April was remarkable. He compiled a 5-0 record with an incredible 0.75 ERA in 36 innings pitched. The left-hander finished with a 0.61 WHIP and 33 strikeouts. He walked four batters and allowed three earned runs in his five starts.

One would expect his numbers to decrease a bit. However, if Suárez keeps up this level of performance, the pitcher suddenly becomes another bonafide ace in Philadelphia’s rotation.

Turnbull has pitched excellently for the Phillies. The Alabama native totaled a 1.67 ERA and a 0.84 WHIP in his six starts. He went 2-0 with 36 strikeouts and allowed 10 walks and six earned runs in 32 1/3 innings pitched.

He did so well that some baseball and Philadelphia fans criticized the initial decision to put Turnbull in the bullpen in favor of the returning Walker. However, according to Todd Zolecki, it appears manager Rob Thomson is open to the idea of employing a piggyback strategy to keep the former Detroit Tiger in the rotation for now.

The Phillies’ starters and relievers were the best in the NL during April in several key categories, including a 3.49 team ERA and 9.50 K/9. The rotation had a combined 2.50 ERA, which led the league. Astounding play from the starting five combined with their power hitting has gotten them off to a good start to 2024.