On a day when the Philadelphia Phillies were looking to the future by releasing the 2017 schedule (They start the season in Cincinnati Reds‘ Great American Bandbox for the second year in a row on 4/3 and open at home against the Natinals on 4/7) another youngin’ took the hill in RHP Jake Thompson (1-5, 6.05). The Pittsburgh Pirates would counter with their own rookie, LHP Steven Brault (0-2, 3.38). Both were coming off five inning, two run outings so no advantage there.
As good as Thompson pitched for the fourth outing in a row, it was the Phillies bats that were a big part of the story, as they knocked out 15 hits – most since August 2nd – on the way to a 6-2 victory over the Buccos. Every starter had a hit, six with multiples – Aaron Altherr with 3. They also scored in four different innings.
Thompson was in trouble right away giving up solid singles to the first two batters. A backwards K and a smooth 6-4-3 double play ended the threat.
The next two innings the Phillies got to Brault with a little help from their friends in Grey, Yellow and Black. In the 2nd after Tommy Joseph singled to lead off the inning, one out later it was time to as Freddy Galvis (19) blasted a HR to LF to make it 2-0. Two more would reach after that (see Broken below) but Brault got out of the that one with no further damage. In the 3rd Roman Quinn and Maikel Franco started off with singles. Cameron Rupp doubled one out later to score Franco and Tommy Joseph (who reached on a force out) went to 3rd on a bobble by the left fielder. Then the circus came to town as with two outs David Freese booted a ball at 3rd to allow Joseph to score. so it was then 4-0 Phils.
Thompson got a 1-2-3 SDI in the 3rd, but not so much in the 4th as Andrew McCutchen (21) led off with a Long Fly over the LF wall. The Pirates would score again on a BB, a single, and a sac fly to cut the Phillies lead in half. Jake threw 33 pitches that inning.
The Phils would battle right back, scoring their fifth run in the bottom half of that inning, on a 2 out double by Franco that sent Brault to the showers after 3.2 In, 9H, 5R, 4 earned, 0BB, 3K, 1HR, 62 pitches – 39 for strikes. Maikel would then be stranded at 2nd. The second double play of the night started by Galvis, helped Thompson to 0-1-3 SDI after a lead off walk in the 5th.
Joseph (19) launched one to LF in the bottom of the 6th to make it 6-2. The scoring ended after that with Pete Mackanin catching the September CallUp bug going all Jim Riggleman on us, using 5 different pitchers to close out this one, though as usual the Phillies do not do easy and only Roman Quinn’s first MLB OF assist, and a final out K by Jeanmar Gomez, kept the 4 run margin of victory.
Jake Thompson earned the W (2-5, 5.64), 6 In, 6H, 2R, both earned, 3 BB, 3K, 1HR, 90 Pitches – 53 for strikes. Brault was saddled with the short night L (0-3, 3.90). Edubray Ramos got an H(15), and Pete Mackanin put Gomez right back on the horse after last night BS and L, to rack up his 37th save.
Not much more to say about the action here but:
Broken Runs: In the 2nd inning Aaron Altherr and Tyler Goeddel each broke hitless streaks, 0 – 17 and 0-21 respectively, on back to back singles. The HR by McCutchen was the first given up in the last ten starts by Phillies pitchers. What has happily not broken was the string of QS by Phillies starters, now 11 straight starts, 3 ER or fewer.
Getting Younger Every Day: Cameron Rupp was the oldest player in the starting lineup tonight at 27.
Next Ups: The third game of this four game set will feature RHP Jerad Eickhoff (13-13, 3.73) Vs.RHP Chad Kuhl (3-3, 4.09). The winner will get the Ad In on taking the series. Our EC will be here to Slow Hand that one for you.