Howard Eskin asked Rob Thomson a dumb question about slugging before the Phillies went out and hit three homers in a 5-1 win over the Pirates Thursday night:

“Just keep running ’em out there, because we’re gonna slug. If you don’t think we’re gonna slug, you ain’t watching the games… this team is built to slug.”

Yes, this team is built to slug. Not built by Thomson, mind you, built by Dave Dombrowski, and there are Phillies fans do not agree with the roster construction. They don’t want to see players swing for the fences and strike out, which the Phils have done quite a bit over the last two seasons, but the general thought doesn’t totally check out this season. The Phillies are a top eight MLB team with 13 stolen bases and also top eight with 48 walks. They’ve struck out 122 times, which is also a top-half league-wide number, but the home run numbers are middle of the pack and what they really need is more extra base hits. They’re dead last in doubles and only have one triple all year long. Once those start coming, and they will, the distribution of homers, total bases, walks, strikeouts, and stolen bases will look much more balanced. It’s not small ball, but it’s also not the the black and white home run or strikeout situation people make it out to be.

For what it’s worth, the Texas Rangers won the World Series last year with 30 home runs in 17 postseason games, so it seemed to work out fine for them. Not everybody is built like the Astros, and the Phils have been right on the cusp for two years running now. A little more plate discipline would have had them back in the World Series for a second straight year.

Regardless of Howard Eskin doing his dopey nitwit routine, there are legitimate questions to ask of Rob Thomson. “Just keep running ’em out there” isn’t a viable strategy, but you also don’t get thoughtful answers to stupid questions on April 11th: