Bad baserunning has been at the forefront of the 2023 Philadelphia Phillies season thus far, and it’s partially to blame for a disappointing 3-6 start.
Kyle Schwarber ran through a stop sign from third base coach Dusty Wathan in the bottom of the first inning Sunday, and it actually worked out, as he was hit by the throw coming home and scored when he otherwise would have been thrown out:
Nick Castellanos then tried to come home after the ball ricocheted off of Schwarber, which proved to be a pretty disastrous decision, as he was toast.
In the bottom of the fourth inning, Brandon Marsh sliced a ball down the left field line that Reds left fielder Will Benson wasn’t able to get to. The ball kicked away and allowed Marsh to reach third base.
Then, as Marsh was approaching third base, Wathan initially waved him. Marsh then looked down and by the time he looked back up to see that Wathan had changed his mind and was trying to get him to stop at third base, it was too late and he ended up in an inning-ending rundown.
“Guys, as far as the baserunning is concerned, gotta run with their head up,” Rob Thomson said in his postgame press conference, seemingly referring to the Marsh play.
“At third base, I always tell baserunners ‘You get into that 15, 10-foot area before you touch the base, you pick up the coach, watch yourself touch the base and then you pick up the coach again, in case he has to change his mind. We just have to clean it up.”
J.T. Realmuto and Darick Hall are among the other Phillies who have made questionable decisions while running the bases so far this season.
Runs will likely be at a premium Monday against the Miami Marlins, with reigning NL Cy Young Award winner Sandy Alcántara slated to take the mound at Citizens Bank Park.
The baserunning blunders are happening far too often for the Phillies. This has to be cleaned up.
Photo courtsey of The Athletic