With the All Star Game break this past week and the Philadelphia Phillies making no trade period moves, this could be the shortest Phillies Phriday Phill-Ins post ever.
Phillies Power at the ASG:
Hittiing Power: Rhys Lightning
The offensive power was supplied by Rhys Hoskins in the HR Derby Monday night.
He came in as the #8 seed, but pulled off the upset of #1 Jesus Aguilar of the Milwaukee Brewers, easily outslugging him 17-12.
Here’s Hoskins as he went on his mini-tear after his strategically called time out in the first round, including his longest HR at 463′. At one point the HR/Distance graphic could not keep up:
He went toe to toe with Chicago Cubs, Kyle Schwarber in the semi-final round, only to come up one short, 21-20. With the whole crowd cheering, Rhys included, Schwarber hit an upper deck shot just as time expired. Kyle would go on to lose to Washington Nationals Bryce Harper in the final, 19-18.
Pitching Power: Nola being Nola
Aaron Nola did not get into the game until the fifth inning, but it was worth the wait to see Nola do what Nola does, mixing his FB with his hook, and his developing change-up.
He struck out the first two batters. Kansas City Royals C Salvador Perez saw a 95+ FB, two changes, and then a wicked hook. Boston Red Sox OF Mookie Betts was the next K victim which ended with a 96-mph FB.
Nola did give up a hit, but then got the dangerous future Phillie? Anaheim Angels OF Mike Trout, to weakly pop out.
Nola only needed 15P – 10 were for strikes.
Doing what he did against that lineup should put an end to the “is Nola an Ace” argument.
Per a baseball-reference.com tweet, Nola is the first Phillie to K more than one batter in an ASG since Randy WOOOlf in 2003.
As Philly StatMeister Bob Vetrone Jr. details so well below, the “2nd half” of the season starts with an even mix of above and below .500 teams. This could be the real turning point of the season, as we see how consistently the team plays against each, and how well Phillies Manager Gabe Kapler‘s even keel positive approach works. Remember that some of these kids have never played a full MLB season, so Gabe will have to earn my latest twitter handle #KaplerIsAGenius, figuring out how to keep everyone sharp and in the game.
It all starts with the easy part as the 40-59, San Diego Padres come to town for the weekend.
As of this early Friday morning posting the Padres have yet to announce their starters for Saturday and Sunday. I will update it when they do.
San Diego Padres @ Philadelphia Phillies
Friday, July 20, 7:05 PM ET , Citizens Bank Park
Clayton Richard, LHP
Saturday, July 21, 7:05 PM ET , Citizens Bank Park
Luis Perdomo, RHP
Sunday, July 22, 1:35 PM ET , Citizens Bank Park
Tyson Ross, RHP