If we’re being real, the Rockies stink. They are now 4-14 overall and 2-10 on the road. They have a -40 run differential.

They don’t hit much, and they entered this series with a 6.29 ERA, so we know they don’t pitch.

And they apparently can’t run the bases either.

Still, after a lengthy run of quiet bats and sloppy fielding, it was refreshing to see the Phillies finally put together a complete game Tuesday night.

They plated at least five runs for just the second time in eight games, and Ranger Suárez made the modest offensive improvement stand up in a solid 5-0 win. With it, the Phillies moved to 10-8, two games above the .500 mark for the first time this season.

For those keeping track of year over year progress, it took them 28 games to reach two games over .500 last season…before they promptly lost six straight.

Count with me here for a second. If the Phillies win tomorrow, not only will that make it three straight victories (a winning streak!), but they will also be three games over .500. It took them until June 17 — 71 games in — to reach that mark last season.

With the Phillies soaring to such great heights, let’s do some observations.

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No Messing Around

Despite the Phillies’ overall offensive struggles so far, they’ve been one of baseball’s better first inning scoring teams.

They entered the night plating 0.65 runs per game (ninth overall). J.T. Realmuto continued their early production by launching a two-run home out to left field. The blast gave the Phillies a quick 2-0 lead. It also marked the 13th time in 18 games in which the Phillies scored first — perhaps a hot little betting tip for you right there.


Beyond what ultimately proved to be the game-winning swing, it’s always fun to look at stats this time of year. We’re still in that part of the calendar where one swing can totally change the entire take on a player’s season. Realmuto entered the night with a lackluster .693 OPS. One big swing later, it stood at a stellar .772 before eventually closing the night at .746.

It’s the Season of Suárez

A little bit of a different start for Ranger Suárez this year, huh? Last season, he didn’t debut until May 13 after he missed the first month-plus with a left elbow strain that popped up during the World Baseball Classic.

He struggled through his first four starts, pitching only 17 2/3 innings while posting a 7.13 ERA. Opponents hit .306 against him with an .876 OPS.

It’s been a totally different deal this season. Fully healthy and on-schedule during spring training, there was significant optimism by the Phillies that Suárez would take his game up a level.

So far, so good.

After dazzling the Rockies for nine innings Tuesday night, Suárez now holds a 1.73 ERA through four starts spanning 26 total innings. He’s been particularly exceptional his last three times out, compiling a 0.86 ERA and 0.76 WHIP over 21 innings.

He peppered the strike zone early, needing only 25 pitches (20 strikes) to get through the first three frames. He was through six clean innings with only 73 pitches to his credit.

With the help of splash defensive plays from Brandon Marsh and Alec Bohm to help navigate the late innings, Suárez came back out for the ninth at 89 pitches.

As it turns out, his early efficiency and defensive support would come in handy as he navigated some trouble in the ninth before finishing the deal at 112 pitches.

It’s How You Start That Counts

Want to know how the Phillies could possibly sit two games over .500 despite sporting the National League’s worst scoring offense? Look no further than the starting rotation.

With Suarez’ complete game masterpiece, Phillies starters now hold an NL-best 2.69 ERA.

Harper Gets It Going With Runners On

Bryce Harper’s slow start has been thoroughly documented, but it’s his work with runners on base that has been especially problematic. It’s a good sign then that Harper has produced hits with runners in scoring position in back-to-back games against the Rockies.

After starting the season 2-for-14 (.143 BA) with RISP, he now has three hits in his last four at-bats.

Harper’s sixth-inning double plated Trea Turner to make it 3-0. It was just his second extra base-hit dating back to April 5.

He would follow the double with his first home run since his three-homer game on April 2 by blasting a 381-foot shot out to right in the eighth: