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Kyle Schwarber And Trea Turner Continue To Struggle In Phillies Loss To The Red Sox

Written by Tony Ghaul

The Philadelphia Phillies return home last night, after being swept by the Los Angeles Dodgers. It was a series in which the Dodgers dominated the Phillies.

Last night was Bryce Harper’s 2023 season debut, as the Phillies opened a three game home stand against the Boston Red Sox. It was Harper’s third game back, after off season Tommy John surgery.

Harper went 1 for 4 with a run scored. The Phillies continued to struggle and lose the game 5-3.

The Phillies offensive struggles start at the top of the batting order. Their first two batters, Kyle Schwarber and Trea Turner, were a combined 1-for-10.

Schwarber was put back into the leadoff spot when Harper returned Tuesday, and he’s hitting .183 this season. He struck out three times Friday, including in the ninth inning with two runners on base as he represented the potential winning run. Turner then struck out to end the game as Harper stood in the on-deck circle, bat on his shoulder.

Phillies Manager Rob Thomson was asked why Schwarber is batting lead-off

Schwarber, however, wasn’t able to make the catch, allowing Tapia to reach second on an error. Schwarber went 0-for-5 at the plate, with three strikeouts. The third of those strikeouts came against Kenley Jansen in the bottom of the ninth, with runners on first and second base and only one out.

“He gets on base and hits home runs,” Thomson said. “When he walks to the plate, as the first guy, leading off the game, it opens (the pitcher’s) eyes up. And he’s comfortable there. That’s where he’s had the most production in his career. That was the game plan last year, and it worked out pretty well.”

Thomson could go with Turner at the leadoff spot, which he did earlier in the season. But Turner is struggling too, hitting just .257 with an on-base percentage of .297.

Thomson could also go back to Bryson Stott, who was hitting leadoff up until Harper returned. He is hitting .301 with an on-base percentage of .329.

Thomson said he likes Stott hitting lower in the order because he makes contact. So if Stott comes up with runners in base, chances are he’ll put the ball in play.

A lineup shake up is needed, but Thomson will not do that. It looks like he will remain status quo for the time being.

I would change it up and see if it could provide a spark. Here is what, I would go with.

  • 1. Bryson Stott
  • 2. J.T. Realmuto
  • 3. Bryce Harper
  • 4. Nick Castellanos
  • 5. Brandon Marsh
  • 6. Trea Turner
  • 7. Kyle Schwarber
  • 8. Alec Bohm
  • 9. Edmundo Sosa / Kody Clemens

This lineup would take some pressure off Schwarber and Turner. Maybe, this would light a fire under the offense.

The Phillies have two win some games. They do not want to follow too far behind.

Kyle Schwarber and Trea Turner. Photo courtsey of MLB

About the author

Tony Ghaul