What has gotten into the Phillies?
Teams often play better – at least for a bit – when their coach/manager gets canned in the middle of the season. So I’m not surprised the Phillies responded to the firing of Joe Girardi with a winning streak. However, I certainly never expected it to be nine games, which it is as I write this.
Is new manager Rob Thomson that much different from Girardi? I read some very good things about him after he was named interim skipper, including from Mets manager Buck Showalter. It sounds like he’s someone who’s long overdue the opportunity.
I’m trying to figure out what has changed. Mostly, it just seems as though the players are more relaxed. What’s really encouraging is the contributions of young guys like Bryson Stott. Girardi had the reputation of favoring veterans in the lineup, and Phils prospects didn’t do well under his watch.
Maybe with Thomson, they know they won’t get benched or sent down to the minors after an 0-for-15. Even Mickey Moniak looks like a different player, finding ways to contribute.
The Phils have vaulted themselves back in the wild card race, and they’re going to need help from everyone up and down the roster – not just the guys making $20 million a year – if they want to keep the momentum going.