We’re big baseball fans here at Spike’s Trophies, and while we’re busy pumping out amazing sports trophies for sports in New Jersey, Philadelphia and across the nation, we’re also closely following our hometown Phillies (who are also one of our clients!)
As we write this, the second month of the Major League Baseball season is winding down and we finally can hope for a nice, long stretch of good baseball weather in Philadelphia. If you haven’t been down to “The Bank” yet for a game, now would be the time to start shopping for tickets to see a team that, as expected, is the class of the National League East.
Of course, the Phillies haven’t just sailed smoothly into first place. This wouldn’t be Philly sports without some nagging negativity, some red flags about our team that keep us on the edge of our seats and fearing the worst. (And yes, Bryce Harper leading the league in strikeouts clearly fits into this category.)
However, let’s start this two-month milepost blog on a positive note – because first place is first place, and the Phillies are giving us plenty to be excited about.
Item One: Jean Segura Is The Real Deal
There was no doubt that one of the most gaping holes on a team that finished under .500 last year and missed the postseason was at shortstop. Enter Jean Segura, via an offseason trade, and the most difficult position on the infield is now manned by arguably the team’s early season MVP.
As of May 24, Segura ranked in the top 10 in the NL in batting average at .325, with 19 extra-base hits. He’s solid defensively, and combined with the addition of catcher JT Realmuto, the Phillies have improved immensely on the infield over last year – which didn’t take much.
Item Two: Bullpen Woes? We’ve Got Company!
If it makes you feel better, the Phillies’ underwhelming bullpen options are not unique in the National League East – or anywhere in baseball, for that matter. A recent four-game series between the Phillies and the Cubs at Wrigley Field really illustrated how the race for NL’s top dog this year will probably come down to which team is able to shore up its relief corps – or figure out how to win the inevitable Craig Kimbrel midseason sweepstakes.
Will that be the Phillies, who boasted about having “stupid money” to spend prior to the season? If the team is hungry for more than just a division championship and postseason appearance, fans sure hope so.
Item Three: Harper Needs To Bring the Heat
While we knew what we were getting when the Phillies opened the coffers and threw an incomprehensible amount of money at Bryce Harper in the offseason – a guy who wins Home Run Derbies in epic fashion, but also strikes out a lot – watching him go through a month-long slump between April and May was not what we signed on for. A sub-.230 batting average and more than 70 strikeouts in the first 50 games wasn’t, either.
Harper has thrilled us at times, and he’s definitely proven himself Philly tough after brushing off the boos he’s heard from home crowds. Can you imagine if he really got hot this summer? Harper and Hoskins heating up together…now that’s the stuff of opposing pitchers’ nightmares.
Spike’s Trophies always wants to see the biggest trophies in sports riding down Broad Street in a championship parade, and these Phillies definitely have the potential to make that happen. For us, and for our customers in Philly and New Jersey, sports trophies are not just pieces of hardware – they’re a passion!
Check back to our blog for more Philly sports musings, and don’t hesitate to contact us if you need to order special custom awards for your next big sporting event.