Three Things to Look at as Phillies Start Six-Game Road Trip
The Phillies just ended a nine-game home-stand at 5-4 and embark on a six-game road trip starting tonight in Detroit. They enter this week in third place in the National League East Division, two games behind Washington with a 25-19 mark.
Here are three things to keep an eye on this week as they begin a nine-game road trip.
1. Tyler Goeddel has provided some offense.
The rule 5 pick has been a pleasant surprise after a slot start to the season. The 23-year-old has put together a big month of May, hitting safely in each of his last four games, eight of his last nine, and 10 of his last 12. After just starting just nine of the Phillies first 28 games with zero extra-base hits, he has started 14 of the Phillies last 16 games and is batting .340 (16-47) with five extra-base hits (2 2B, 2 2B, HR).
2. How will the Phillies handle Ryan Howard?
The Phillies have been using a straight platoon at first-base so far this season, but its not working. Ryan Howard isn't holding up his end of the bargain, hitting just .163 against right-handed pitching and .161 overall. The Phillies called-up Tommy Joseph, but never really gave Darrin Ruf a fair shot - Ruf played only six games at the position. The Phils have to eventually give Joseph everyday at-bats at first base, and pull the plug on Howard
3. Is this bullpen for real?
The Phillies continue to impress at the back-end of the bullpen. Set-up man Hector Neris hasn't given up a run in his last seven appearances. Former closer David Hernandez has posted a 1.33 ERA (3 ER, 20.1 IP) and 0.93 WHIP (5 BB, 14 H) since April 6. Meanwhile current closer Jeanmar Gomez is the first pitcher in club history with 16 or more saves in the team’s first 41 games of a season and currently leads baseball with those 16 saves.