The Philadelphia Phillies‘ season has been a tale of two different teams.
The first team was managed by Joe Girardi and they were underachieving.
Through 51 games with Girardi, the Phillies were 22-29, on the outside looking in at the playoffs.
Then every flipped, Girardi was fired and Rob Thomson took over as interim manager.
Since then the Phillies have gone 43-23 and are in a 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 Injured List.
Thomson is building a strong case to be the Phillies' manager beyond 2022.
— Robert Murray (@ByRobertMurray) August 11, 2022
So, why such a drastic turnaround?
Thomson has to get some credit for this team finally playing up to their potential.
Especially because they have been without their best player, Bryce Harper, for two months.
Sometimes all a team needs is a different voice or different philosophy to start playing better.
Girardi managed this team for three seasons, and you could argue the team underachieved in all three.
2021 was the only time the Phillies had an above .500 record 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 Wild Card hunt.
The Phillies’ 43-23 record ranks third-best in the National League since Thomson took over.
They have also improved in almost every statistical category since the move was made.
Most of the concerns before the season were about the Phillies’ defense.
The defensive numbers were not pretty with Girardi but have since improved once Thomson took over.
According to CBS Sports, the Phillies’ defensive efficiency improved from .693 to .721 once the managerial change was made.
The Philadelphia Phillies are tied with the Yankees for the 4th fewest errors committed by a team this season
But yeah, we can't play defense pic.twitter.com/84NeM0T2dr
— Phillies Muse (@Phillies_Muse) August 10, 2022
Also, the pitching has been better for the Phillies since Thomson took over on June 3.
According to FanGraphs, the Phillies ranked 5th in the MLB with an ERA of 3.47 in that time frame.
Along with having the third-highest WAR amongst pitching staffs with a 10.4.
The addition of David Robertson at the trade deadline also has helped solidify the bullpen.
The hitting has even improved under Thomson, the Phillies have the fourth-best team batting average and fourth-most runs scored since June 3.
Also, for a team without a true stolen base threat, the Phillies have been second in the National League in stolen bases since the 59-year-old manager took over.
The team is playing with more juice, they have more fight in them and the exciting brand of baseball that most fans were expecting is coming to fruition.
No matter what Thomson’s “secret sauce” is with this team, it is working.
Now with the Phillies currently sitting in the second NL Wild Card spot, Thomson has a chance to lead his team where they have not been in 11 years.
The playoffs have always been the goal for the Phillies.
If they can get there, Thomson not only has a chance at NL Manager of the Year but he is making a strong case to be the full-time manager of this ballclub.