Shortly after the baseball season began the Philadelphia Phillies were ranked 30th in ESPN’s MLB power rankings. (There are only 30 teams, mind you.) The Phillies began the season 0-4, and it looked like a carryover of last year’s level of play which saw the Phillies finish with the worst record in baseball at 63-99.
Since then, the Phillies have gone 22-12 to pull to within one game of the division-leading Washington Nationals. The pitching has been superb. It has to be, because the Phillies cannot score runs. With that said, the Phillies are overachieving. I don’t say this the be critical, either. I’m enjoying this season immensely. It is so rare for one of my teams to overachieve. Usually it’s the opposite. I’m going to enjoy winning for as long as the Phillies can do it, because I don’t know how much longer they can sustain their current winning percentage. Even though the Phillies are six games over .500, their run differential is -30, which means they are outscored by an average of 0.79 runs per game. In baseball, that’s a lot. Normally, a team with a negative run differential that high is nowhere close to .500.
The Phillies are 14-3 in one-run games. The team with the second-most one-run wins has eight. I’m not confident the Phillies can continue their magic forever. But I do hope it lasts a little while longer. Unless they can figure out a way to score more runs, though, at some point it will all come crashing down.