The Philadelphia Phillies’ season was a story of two different teams.
The first team was led by Joe Girardi and they were underperforming.
In 51 games with Girardi, the Phillies were 22-29, outside looking at the playoffs.
Then, with each turnaround, Girardi was fired and Rob Thomson took over as interim manager.
Since then, the Phillies have gone 43-23 and are in great position to make the playoffs for the first time since 2011.
The Phillies are 40-19 since Rob Thomson replaced Joe Girardi as manager and 25-13 since Bryce Harper was placed on the disabled list.
Thomson is building a solid case to be the Phillies’ manager beyond 2022.
—Robert Murray (@ByRobertMurray) August 11, 2022
So why such a drastic change?
Thomson needs to get some credit for this team finally playing to their potential.
Especially because they’ve been without their best player, Bryce Harper, for two months.
Sometimes all a team needs is a different voice or a different philosophy to start playing better.
Girardi led this team for three seasons, and you could say the team underperformed in all three.
2021 was the only time the Phillies had a record above .500 with Girardi and they were 82-80.
General manager Dave Dombrowski deserves some credit for making this managerial change as quickly as he did.
Before the season got away from them, the move was made and the Phillies are back in the hunt for the Wild Cards.
The Phillies’ 43-23 record ranks third in the National League since Thomson took over.
They’ve also improved in nearly every stat category since the switch.
Most pre-season concerns centered on the Phillies’ defense.
Defensive numbers weren’t pretty with Girardi but have since improved once Thomson took over.
According to CBS Sports, the Phillies’ defensive efficiency went from .693 to .721 after the directional change was made.
The Philadelphia Phillies are tied with the Yankees for 4th-fewest errors by a team this season
But yeah, we can’t play defense pic.twitter.com/84NeM0T2dr
— Phillies Muse (@Phillies_Muse) August 10, 2022
Also, throwing has been better for the Phillies since Thomson took over on June 3.
According to FanGraphs, the Phillies ranked 5th in MLB with a 3.47 ERA during that span.
As well as having the third highest war among pitching teams with a 10.4.
Zack Wheeler, Aaron Nola and Seranthony Dominguez have been consistent contributors for the Phillies during this span.
The addition of David Robertson at the trade deadline also helped solidify the bullpen.
Batting has even improved under Thomson, with the Phillies having the fourth best batting average on the team and the fourth most runs scored since June 3.
Additionally, for a team with no real stolen base threat, the Phillies are second in the National League in stolen bases since the 59-year-old manager took over.
The team is playing with more juice, it has more fight in it, and the exciting brand of baseball that most fans have been waiting for comes to fruition.
Whatever Thomson’s “secret sauce” is with this team, it works.
Now that the Phillies are currently in second place on the NL Wild Card, Thomson has a chance to lead his team where they haven’t been in 11 years.
The playoffs have always been the Phillies’ goal.
If they can pull it off, Thomson not only has a shot at being NL Manager of the Year, he makes a strong case for being this ball club’s full-time manager.