Heading into play Thursday night the Phillies record stands at 26-27 but overall their season has been better than expected.  Young players such as Odubel Herrera and Aaron Nola have performed better than expected while Hector Nerris and Vincent Velasquez have surprised many fans and analysts.

NBC Sports Baseball Insider Craig Calcaterra joined Mike Gill on Thursday and credited Pete Mackanin for how he has managed this ball club:

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"I have been overwhelmingly impressed with Pete Mackanin, just the way he carries himself, you see him in Spring Training, you see him in interviews, he's been around so long. He's not some guy who is trying everything he can because he's worried about his job or anything like that, he knows where he is at this point in his career and he's well respected, he's got the backing of the front office, keeps it very even keel. It's amazing, when you look back to how things were under (Ryne) Sandberg versus how they almost immediately transformed under Mackanin, that's not the stuff of a lose 17 of 20 (games) kind of stretch, even if you don't have talent. Now whether that's .500 I don't know but they just don't strike me as a club that will be allowed to come into the ballpark and just mail it in every day like you do when you're playing for a manager who everybody knows is going to be fired, I mean we saw that with the (Atlanta) Braves....I think Mackanin is a good enough manager and good enough people person in the clubhouse to where he's not going to let this team crater."

Hear what Calcaterra had to say about the benching of Ryan Howard, Phillies acquisition of Jimmy Paredes, and review of different potential playoff races around Major League Baseball