By Sam Bush

The Phillies limped home from Colorado, having won Wednesday’s finale to make it to 5-8.

They start a weekend series tonight against the Brewers starting as favorites to win with odds at -126 per

It’s way too early to conclude that manager Joe Girardi is on the hot seat.

But these are different times, since owner John Middleton approved breaking the luxury tax ceiling.

Here’s what The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal thinks:

The Phillies have yet to exercise Girardi’s option for 2023, a clear signal they are expecting results. Not that Girardi needed a reminder.

The Phillies’ $229.2 million Opening Day payroll was the highest in club history by more than $30 million.

The team is hell-bent on making the postseason for the first time since 2011.

As The Athletic’s Matt Gelb explained Wednesday, Girardi is managing with particular urgency, dropping Kyle Schwarber from the leadoff to fifth spot and hitting J.T. Realmuto and Bryce Harper 1-2 in the 10th game of the season. That configuration, however, lasted only two games. Jean Segura and Rhys Hoskins batted 1-2 in the next two, with Harper third, Nick Castellanos fourth, Realmuto fifth and Schwarber sixth.

One concern:

If the ball indeed does not carry the way it did in years past — an admittedly dangerous conclusion to draw at this early stage of the season — then Dave Dombrowski’s plan to build a slugging offense at the expense of defense might become an even bigger issue than many feared.

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