If the Phillies could hit, they would have the NL East locked up by Labor Day. They could take a month off, rest players and still get enough work in to not be rusty heading into the playoffs.
If the Phillies could hit, they would challenge Seattle’s 2001 record of 116 wins in a season.
The problem is simple. The Phillies can’t hit. They rank in the middle or bottom of the 16-team National League is every major offensive statistical category.
Runs Scored: 228 (8th)
Batting Average: .250 (9th)
On Base Percentage: .317 (9th)
Slugging Percentage: .379 (11th)
Home Runs: 47 (8th)
Stolen Bases: 39 (8th)
If you took these stats and didn’t associate them with any particular team, you’d think this is an average team. But, this is the best team in the National League. Pitching and defense have carried the Phillies through the first third of the season, but in order to remain atop the league, Charlie Manuel’s offense needs to take advantage of “Hittin’ Season”.
In Pittsburgh on Friday, Manuel should be able to write out his full, ideal lineup for the first time all season with the return of Shane Victorino.
When you break down the stats, the Phillies pitching and defense truly are impressive.
ERA: 3.21 (2nd)
Complete Games: 6 (1st) (More than Milwaukee, New York, Washington, Cincinnati, Arizona, San Diego, Houston and Chicago combined)
Shutouts: 7 (T-1st)
Save Percentage: 94.7 (1st)
Home Runs Allowed: 27 (3rd)
Strikeouts: 455 (1st)
Walks Allowed: 147 (1st)
Fielding Percentage: .989 (1st)
Errors: 23 (1st)