Phillies Phriday Phill-Ins: 06/28/19

Swept by Miami Marlins

Sweep The New York Mets

What a difference a week makes.

There was so much going on each night, that after a quick summary, I am going to break this up into the Slugfest games one and two, and then a bit more about the two walk-off wins.

Every game was a come from behind victory for the Phightin’s. It started inauspiciously with two runs in the first on Monday. The next day it was a three run deficit, including another two in the first inning. They were down four on Wednesday, a three spot in the 7th tied the game to set them up for the first of B2B walk-offs. They saved the best for last, the two that they had to comeback from only in the final inning. Which they did with not one but two Bullets.

It took 80 games for the Phillies to get their first walk-off, and then had two in a row.

Is it the fabled Curve Ball Machine that was brought out for batting practice by Manager Gabe Kapler?

Or was it the Bamboo plant brought in by newest Phillie Brad Miller?

Who knows.

All I can say is it was a rare four game sweep. It was the Phils first four game sweep since that memorable one 8/27 – 8/30/07 against these same Mets in NYC.

Games 1 and 2: HR Derby

For some reason the Mets always seem to hit HRs against the Phillies, no matter who the hitter or pitcher or the placing in the standings. This series was no exception, especially in the first two games. Each team smacked four long balls on Monday. For the Phils it was Jean Segura (8), Rhys Hoskins (17), Maikel Franco (10), Jay Bruce (21).

This was the Hoskins shot that tied it up in the first after which the Phils never looked back on the way to an easy 13-7 victory.

After the B2B HRs by Franco and Miller in the five run 6th, Kapler was ejected after Kingery was HBP and both benches were warned. More on that below.

As noted above the Phillies also hit four bombs on Tuesday, Scott Kingery (10) to lead off the game – his first ever in the top spot – Hoskins (18), Franco (11), and Miller (2). This was the teams first B2B 4 HR games since 2009.

Franco went from a guy it seemed was not long for the Phillies, except as a bench guy, to being right in the middle of all these comebacks, while playing a better 3B every game. Here is the go-ahead shot from Tuesday’s 5R 6th inning

We will see more of him later.

I am not even going to get into the pitchers in these games – the second wound up 7-5 – because most of it was not very good, and it was definitely hitting season at CBP. Let’s just say that Zach Eflin (7-7, 3.26 ERA) and Jake Arrieta (7-6, 4.33) , who gave up two dingers to New York, were not at their best, but still lasted long enough to get a W.

Game 3: 1st Walk-off of the season

This game was not as wild and the Phils only hit one out of the park, a Segura (9) solo shot in the sixth that started the comeback from four down. The Mets of course still hit their two as well.

In the 7th the Phils would tie it up, this time manufacturing runs on two 2B, a BB, a WP, and a single.

That set up this in the 10th.

Game 4: 8 Innings 1 Run – 1 Inning 8 Runs

Game four as you can tell from the lead was a completely different animal.

What started as a pitcher’s duel, ended up a brief, but spectacular roller coaster ride of a ninth inning.

The two pitchers who were so good in this one, Aaron Nola (6-2, 4.22) 7In, 1H, 1BB, 10K, 102P – 65 for strikes, and Mets RHP Zack Wheeler (6-5, 4.51) 6In, 2H, 1R – earned on a Harper shot in the 6th – 2BB, 7K, 107P – 72 for strikes, were gone before this one was decided.

The Harper HR would remain the solo tally until the Ride began in the 9th.

The downs and ups started when two of the better closers in the NL, Hector Neris (1-3, 3.18 – 16S – 18 SVO) and the Metropolitans Edwin Diaz (1-5, 4.94, 16S – 20 SVO) each blew leads.

Neris, who was on for the third night in a row,  gave up a 2R HR to 3B Todd Frazier (10) and then two more singles before JD Hammer would come on and let in one more run on a ground out to make it 3-1 Mets.

It was the Phillies who turned the tables on Diaz, who had also pitched the night before.

It started with a classic Cesar Hernandez 7P BB.

Then on an 0-2 count Franco (12) did his thing once again:

Mets Manager Mickey Callaway, who has to be on a very hot seat as they already let two pitching coaches go back on 6/21, stuck with Diaz.

With one out Sean Rodriguez had a great 9P AB to work a walk. Kingery singled to put Rodriguez into scoring position. He could probably have been on third on the deflection by Frazier at 3B, but in the end it did not matter because:

It was Segura’s (10) first walk-off HR, fifth WO H of any kind.

It was the first time they had a 9th inning game-tying and a walk-off HR since 5/19/13.

If only I had stock in Bamboo plants right now.

Phinal Thoughts:

The beneficiary of the comeback in game four was Hammer who earned his first MLB W. Even though he allowed the inherited run, it could have been worse and his .2In of otherwise clean ball get his ERA back to an even 3.00.

The 12 HR the Phillies hit in the series ties a record going back to a four game series 8/12-14/1977 at Wrigley Field.

The Phillies finish the first half of the season 43-38 4.5 games behind the Atlanta Braves in 2nd place.

And this once again heartening note, even with the seven game losing streak.

I think this series should go a long way to putting an end to this Kapler being some kind of Robot or Automaton, that runs the team and lineups with his laptop only. He went 230+ games w/o an ejection, and then was tossed Saturday and Monday. I was at both of those games and Gabe was anything but robotic. The first was as much frustration and maybe trying to light a fire under his team on their was to their sixth L in a row. The second was a bit more sedate, but still got his money’s worth on the quick – by the rule book correct – hook by Joe West.

The main  thing was Kapler was trying to protect his player first and foremost and either did not know the rule, or did not care, to make his point. Either way, to me neither ejection was tied to analytics or 2019 baseball, just sticking up for your team.

One last note for you Farmhand Phans, on Thursday the Phillies announced they had signed their 1st round draft pick Bryson Stott  with a a $3.9 million signing bonus. He most likely will start Rookie-level GCL Phillies, but since he played so much in college, where he played SS and 3B, he easily could be in Class A Short-Season Williamsport before long..

On Deck:

The Phillies finish this 17 game stretch without a break by visiting the Miami Marlins (30-48, Last Place NL East) for the weekend. They finally get a day off Monday, before finishing with the Braves and the Mets before the All Star Game break.

At Marlins Park TV: FS-F, NBC 10
Vince Velasquez 244.40 ERA54 SO
Elieser Hernandez RHP 024.34 ERA19 SO
Zach Eflin 773.26 ERA77 SO
Jordan Yamamoto RHP 300.95 ERA19 SO
TV: NBCSP, FS-F, MLBN (out-of-market only)
Jake Arrieta RHP 764.33 ERA75 SO
Trevor Richards RHP 383.94 ERA80 SO

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