The Philadelphia Phillies have only been able to muster one win in their first four games this season thanks to horrendous pitching on all fronts. The starting rotation and bullpen must figure it out quickly before the season spirals out of control.
Philadelphia’s first four starters have not been able to make it six innings in a single game this season while compiling a 6.14 earned run average, the second worst in the National League. The good news is the starters have struck out the second most batters (25) in the NL so far this year. This means the rotation have the arms to get the job done, they just need to figure out a way to keep opponents from reaching base.
Since the starters have not been able to keep up their end of the bargain, the bullpen has suffered.
“Our [bullpen] guys are not geared right now to go three or four days in a row. So that becomes a problem,” manager Charlie Manuel said, according to Phillies.com
The relievers are not stretched out enough to pitch consecutive games, which means one or two starters must step up and find a way to get past the sixth inning. If the Phillies cannot keep from sending their relief pitchers into games too early, the entire team will take a huge hit in the early part of the season.
Philadelphia’s relievers have combined for a 10.50 ERA, 13 strikeouts and a .340 opponent batting average in 12 innings. The earned run average and opponent batting average are by far the worst among all NL bullpens.
As you may have guessed, the Phillies are statistically the worst pitching staff in all of baseball through the first four games. The starters and relievers have a combined 7.68 ERA and .288 opponent batting average in 34 innings. They also have allowed seven home runs and 29 earned runs on 40 hits.
The good news is Philadelphia understands this is a long season. The Phillies are confident the pitching staff can work out the kinks, which will allow the team as a whole to get back on track.