Phillies players did not come down with boils and sores. None of them are the subject of a crippling IRS tax audit. And I'm pretty sure that no one's Twitter feed has been hacked.
Other than that, not much has gone right for the Phils this month.
But they did win a baseball game on Thursday. And in this, the Ides of June (yes, I’m making that a new thing), that is a big story. After beating the Twins 7-3 in Minnesota, the Phils have played 22 games this month and won five of them. They are hitting .213/.257/.378 in June, with a wRC+ of 66. Their staff ERA is 4.45, and their run differential this month alone is -55.
A lot has gone wrong. But you’ve already read a lot about all the things that have gone kaplooey in this awful month, which should be wiped off the calendar forever, by the way. There are a few things that have gone right.
There aren’t many, so it was easy to suss them out.
Since coming back to the Phillies, Asche has been... good? In 20 games (65 PAs), Asche is hitting .262/.308/.459 with two homers, four RBIs, seven runs scored and three stolen bases. His wRC+ of 104 is slightly above average and he’s provided some stability in an outfield that badly needed it.
Of course, it’s come at the expense of playing time for Tyler Goeddel, the Phils’ Rule 5 pick. But still just 25 years old, it’s clear the Phillies haven’t given up on Asche having some kind of future with the team, even if it’s in a Greg Dobbs-type role.
We’ve seen hot streaks by Asche before, but sometimes it takes players a little while to find their groove at the Major League level. It remains to be seen if that is the case with Asche.
The Phillies are 3-17 in their last 20 games. Can you name the starting pitcher who has won all three games? That’s right, the team’s new (for the moment) stopper, Jerad Eickhoff.
So yeah, he’s going to be the only pitcher on this list, guys.
Eickhoff has been the team’s most consistent pitcher since arriving in Philadelphia via the Cole Hamels trade last year. Coming into Thursday’s game against the Twins, he had made five starts and posted an ERA of 2.08 and a FIP of 3.89.
Eickhoff was solid once again against Minnesota, going six innings and giving up two earned runs on five hits with four strikeouts and one walk. And he has become more than just a two-pitch pitcher now that Carlos Ruiz has begun catching him every time out, throwing his slider and curveball effectively for strikes, all while locating his fastball.
If the Phils are in the midst of a long losing streak, right now, with Aaron Nola struggling, Jerad Eickhoff is the guy you want to see on the mound.
Rupp is never going to be known as a great on-base guy and Ruiz calls a better game. But one thing Rupp can provide is some occasional power, which he has done this month.
In 57 June PAs, Rupp has a .574 slugging percentage, hitting four homers with an ISO of .315, highest on the team this month.
He’s not the long-term answer at catcher, and most days, he’s still far more likely to make a bunch of outs. But when Rupp gets into one of his power grooves, he can provide some much needed production at the bottom of the lineup.
If Bourjos is the team’s fifth outfielder, then he’s fine, certainly not worth getting upset about. But he’s been forced to play far more than he should this season, and that hasn’t been good for anybody.
But at least in the month of the June, when he has played, Bourjos has hit a little bit better, batting .364/.382/.576 with a wRC+ of 157.
Will it last? Probably not. But for one month at least, amidst all the losing, Bourjos has been downright serviceable.
So, there you go. Not everything and everyone has been terrible, awful and horrible this month.
Just most things and most people.