Yes, the Phillies really do have a big problem with 0-2 home runs
Sometimes, what we see is deceptive. Other times, the situation is exactly what we think it is.
For example, if you’ve been figuratively pulling your hair out – like me – watching Phils’ pitchers surrender way too many killer homers on 0-2 counts, you’re right to be concerned.
It’s a big problem. And one that’s been an Achilles’ heel for several seasons.
Just read this one paragraph from Matt Gelb’s new (excellent) article in The Athletic:
“What happened over the weekend against the Rockies was staggering: The Phillies surrendered five homers on 0-2 pitches — or more than they allowed in the entire 2009 season. It would be nothing more than a coincidence if the problems with 0-2 counts were limited to one weekend. But no team has allowed more homers on 0-2 pitches since 2019 than the Phillies have (36). It’s four more than the next-closest team and 20 more than the division pacesetter Braves.”
Playoff teams don’t lead the majors in 0-2 home runs given up. Or come close. They also don’t allow more runs than they’ve scored. For the past few seasons, the Phillies have tried to spend themselves into the postseason (free agent contracts to Harper, McCutchen, Gregorius, Wheeler) without doing the other work involved in building a contender – developing enough homegrown players to create a successful roster.
The holes on this team are so large you could drive a truck through them. So we’re left with wasting an MVP-caliber season from Bryce Harper in his prime. How old will he be when they’re good again? 35? 40?