Stott turning season around with May surge

Phillies' hottest hitter rips clutch home run, game-winning sac fly to beat Mets

May 14th, 2024

NEW YORK -- is currently the Phillies' hottest hitter, and his heroics in the late innings helped them defeat the Mets, 5-4, in 10 innings at Citi Field on Monday night. Philadelphia picked up its 14th victory on the road, tied with the Brewers, Yankees and Guardians for the most in the Major Leagues.

“It was a great win,” Phillies manager Rob Thomson said. “We just keep winning games in different ways and getting contributions from all kinds of people. That’s who they are. They keep fighting. They’re resilient. I’m awfully proud of them.”

With the score tied at 4-4 and Mets reliever Sean Reid-Foley on the mound in the 10th, the Phillies had runners on first and third when Stott hit a ball to right fielder Starling Marte, scoring Bryce Harper. It was Stott’s second RBI of the night.

The first came in the ninth inning, when Stott led off with a homer against Mets closer Edwin Díaz to make it a one-run game. Kody Clemens then singled and Brandon Marsh walked before Díaz recorded two outs to come one out away from his sixth save of the season.

But after walking Whit Merrifield to load the bases, he hit Alec Bohm with a pitch, scoring Clemens with the tying run after the call was upheld following a Mets challenge. It was Díaz's second blown save of the season.

"I think [it was] pitch location. I saw the homer from Stott ... was like two inches off the plate,” Díaz said. “So I think he chased that pitch and hit it pretty good. But I think I've been missing my location a little this year."

The Phillies felt if they grinded out at-bats against Díaz and got his pitch count up, they would have a chance to score against him. Díaz ended up throwing 30 pitches in the ninth inning.

“He lost it for a second there, and we put together some good at-bats,” Stott said.

Stott’s heroics an inning later helped Philadelphia earn its 10th comeback victory of the season.

Stott has turned his season around. After going 16-for-80 (.200) in April, Stott is 13-for-30 (.433) in May with a 1.225 OPS, raising his average to .277 and his OPS to .825. It helps that Stott has gotten more aggressive at the plate, according to Thomson.

“He is really swinging the bat like he can. He got off to a slow start, but he's turned it on now,” Thomson said. “He's being a little more aggressive in the zone, and is starting to get the head out and starting to pull some balls. [Before the hot streak], he was getting to the point where he was serving balls to left field. Now he is starting to drive balls, and that's good to see.”

Stott said that he has been able to elevate his game by not panicking in the batter’s box, enabling him to work through an April slump without worrying that it could ruin his entire season. He realizes that it’s a long year and anything could happen. Indeed, Stott's OBP has risen from .308 on May 3 to .371 after his big night against the Mets, a far better mark than he posted in either of his first two seasons.

“It’s a long year. … [it helped] knowing that I had [640] plate appearances last year and [an early slump] wasn’t going to kill me. So I keep taking good at-bats,” Stott said. “I think I have a pretty good feel for the strike zone. Take the walks when they're there. I’m walking a lot more than I probably did around this time last year, I imagine.”