The start of the Phillies’ 2021 season has not been optimal, to say the least. The 13-0 defeat they suffered at the hands of the Cincinnati Reds on Saturday was only part of this misery. The Phils lost in a complete demolition, suffering a batting meltdown and showing poor pitching form. Statistically, the scores only begin to reveal the severity of the defeat, which has yet again brought into sharp focus Phillies’ pressing inadequacies.
For instance, Matt Strahm’s performance was poor with the left-hander allowing four hits in just two innings. While it would be unfair to blame the poor run entirely on Strahm’s poor form, his bloody thumb only added to the injury. It further drained the Phillies completely, sending a wave of disarray throughout the team.
Apart from Strahm’s injury, Andrew Bellatti and Josh Harrison continued to perform below their potential. Bellati hung his signature slider, allowing Wil Myers to score three runs with a homer. For context, Bellati throws his slider two-thirds of the time, and his poor form meant that he was not much of a threat to the opposition.
Meanwhile, the Phillies’ poor form when it comes to baserunning is also claiming their season. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer report, they have made nine outs by bases in total, having only played 15 games thus far. It is the highest number of baserunning outs in the majors.
There are several reasons for the Phillies’ poor form, from individual player performances to selection errors. It is normal for teams to suffer runs of bad form; however, it is the extent of this poor run that has left the Phillies faithful thoroughly disenchanted. In this light, Phillies’ head coach and management can take no chances and will need to adapt and re-strategize fast if they hope to come back from this early-season catastrophe.
As for fresh hope for this beleaguered team, Bryson Stott continues his dazzling 15-game season-opening streak. Though the elite streak is little solace to Phillies faithful, it is is nevertheless an impressive personal feat.