The Phillies went 10-18 in May, closing the month with a five-game losing streak that ultimately cost manager Joe Girardi his job. Since the turn of the calendar, however, they’ve looked like a completely different team.
Thursday, the Phillies beat the Brewers, 8-3. It was a game in which the Brewers sent reigning NL Cy Young winner Corbin Burnes to the hill. It ended up being a game in which the Phillies completed a sweep over a first-place team on the road.
During this seven-game winning streak, the Phillies haven’t exactly been barely skating by. They’ve outscored their opponents 53-19. If you wanted to lop off the final game under Girardi — who was fired less than one week ago — the Phillies are now 6-0 under interim manager Rob Thomson with a +33 run differential.
Both are currently hot to different degrees. Schwarber is 12 for 35 with three doubles, five homers and nine RBI in his last nine games. Harper now has five home runs and 13 RBI in the six games since Girardi was fired. He’s hitting .308/.364/.637 and once again looks like an MVP contender.
As far as Thomson goes, he’s the first MLB manager to win his first six games since Felipe Alou won his first seven with the 2003 Giants. That team would go on to win 100 games. Of course, Alou was taking over a pennant-winning team (Dusty Baker left the Giants after 2002 for the Cubs) and Thomson took over a 22-29 team.
Still, thanks to this winning streak, the Phillies are in position to make this a successful season after all. They are just 2 1/2 games out of the third NL wild card spot. If they do end up making noise in October, people will naturally point to the dismissal of Girardi, fair or not.