Recapping the Phillies' First Two Weeks of the Season (3/29-4/13)
The Phillies have jumped out to a solid 7-5 record to begin their 2018 campaign. Despite the winning record, things didn't start out ideally in the first series of the season in Atlanta against the Braves. The Phillies jumped out to a 5-0 lead on Opening Day, only to blow the game and lose 8-5 in part to some questionable decisions by rookie manager Gabe Kapler. The Phillies came back and scrapped out a 5-4 win before getting demolished 15-2 in the final game of the series.
The Phillies then moved on to New York where they played a pair of games against the rival New York Mets. The Phillies pitching gave a great effort in the series, giving up just 2 and 4 runs respectively, but were let down by the offense, losing both games. Fortunately for the Phillies, the next couple of series against the Marlins, Reds, and Rays would give them the chance of getting their season back on track.
The Phillies took two of three from the Marlins, including a 5-0 victory in the Home Opener, and a 20-1 beat down in game two. Maikel Franco and Aaron Altherr each provided a grand slam in the 20-run game. The Phillies then went on to sweep the three-game series from the Reds, with rookie Scott Kingery hitting the first 2 home runs of his MLB career, including a grand slam, in the series. J.P. Crawford also crushed his first major league homer. The Phillies then pulled out a 2-1 victory tonight in the series opener with the Rays to improve to 7-5.
Who's Hot, Who's Not?
Rhys Hoskins - .333 BA 2 HR, 9 RBI, 9 BB, 12 K's
Hoskins has begun his first full season in the majors right where he left off last year. Hoskins has reached base a ton early on, as shown by his .468 OBP, despite cooling off the past couple of games.
Odubel Herrera - .317 BA 0 HR, 2 RBI, 3 BB, 10 K's
Herrera has been the Phillies' most consistent hitter over the last several seasons and has himself off to another good start in 2018.
Nick Pivetta - 2.70 ERA, 16.2 iP, 2 BB, 19 K's
Pivetta had a horrible time as a starting pitcher in 2017, minus a fantastic outing against the Boston Red Sox. However, Pivetta seems to have turned the page at this point. Although he struggled against the only quality team he's faced so far, he dominated the Marlins and Reds and looks like he should at least be significantly better than he was last season.
Aaron Altherr - .065 BA, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 6 BB, 12 K's
Altherr has had a brutal start to the 2018 season. At the plate he only has 2 hits in 31 at-bats. After having such a solid year last season, it's very disappointing to see Altherr struggling this much now. It's going to be interesting watching Altherr and Nick Williams split time in right field moving forward, with Rhys Hoskins locked into left field and Odubel Herrera in center.
Carlos Santana - .159 BA, 2 HR, 9 RBI, 6 BB, 7 K'S
Santana left the Cleveland Indians for the Phillies during the offseason and was expected to bring a nice balance of power, defense, and plate discipline to the Phillies' lineup. While Santana has homered twice (and nearly several other times) and has played good defense, he hasn't provided the offense that was expected of him. But to be fair, he's had some tough luck with hitting the ball well, just right at defenders. Eventually, Santana should heat up and meet expectations.