After a grueling 17 game stretch without an off-day, the Philadelphia Phillies (16-12) had two this week, sandwiching a two game set with the DetroitTigers (12-14). In game one, it looked like the offense was still enjoying the day off, but in game two, the bats got back to work, but it took awhile to get results.
Game 1: Phlat Phillies Offense
How flat were they?
The Phils did not even get a hit between Cesar Hernandez 2B in the 2nd and a lead-off single by J.T. Realmuto the 9th inning. Not only that, Maikel Franco struck out three times, including rare B2B Ks in the 2nd and 4th innings.
Oh they had plenty of base-runners as Tigers starter RHP Spencer Turnbull (2-2, 2.53 ERA) was “effectively wild” – 2BB, 2HBP, 3WP – apparently only the third P in the last 100 years, to do that and only give up one run.
That one run came on an RBI single by Rhys Hoskins in the 1st inning. Then the offense hit the snooze bar to keep sleeping through this one. They would eventually go 1-7 with RISP, with 7 LOB.
Meanwhile Vince Velasquez (1-1, 2.73) looked great in the first inning, but that old problem of throwing too many pitches, surfaced again the next inning. With two outs he would give up BB, single, BB, to load the bases before getting Turnbull out looking. That took thirty pitches, 20 after the first two outs.
The next inning though, Velasquez would give up all the runs Detroit would need on a one out rally consisting of a 2B, RBI single, and then a 2R HR to Niko Goodrum (3) to put the Nats in the eventual game winning final of 3-1
V. V. did not get out of the 4th inning in the loss – 3.2IN, 6H, 3R – all earned – 3BB, 7K, 99P – 63 for strikes. Turnbull’s winning outing lasted 6In, 3H, 1R – earned – 2BB, 5K, 94P – 59 for strikes. Tigers RHP Shane Green picked up his twelfth S. Only one of the Tigers wins did not involve his closing the game.
Game 2: Better Late Than Never
The finale started pretty much the same as the opener with the Phillies taking the lead early. This time it was on a one out Cesar Hernandez RBI single.
The two starters Aaron Nola (1-0, 5.06), making his his 100th career start, and Tigers LHP Daniel Norris (1-0, 3.47) would take over for the next five innings.
Neither would figure in the decision as the sixth inning saw each manager pulling their starters in 2019 MLB style.
Nola at least was given a chance to get through 6, but was taken out after giving up the tying run with only an out to go to finish it. Hector Neris would need only one pitch to give Aaron the ND on 5.2In, 7H, 1R – earned – 3BB, 6K. 102P – 63 for strikes. Norris’ ND line would be 5In, 1R – earned – 1BB, 4K, 64P – 43 for strikes.
The Tigers would take the lead in the 7th off of Seranthony Dominguez on 3 singles with a WP mixed in.
The Red Pinstripes offense would finally wake up just in time in the bottom of the frame.
A one out 2B by Realmuto started the rally. After a HBP of Sean Rodriguez, starting in LF, a single by Cesar loaded the bases setting the stage for
After Detroit got one back in the 8th, a Hoskins solo shot to start the inning, his 9th of the season, and a 2 out PH RBI 2B by Phil Gosselin, took the save out of the picture with a 7-3 final.
The big blow in the 7th gave Seranthony Dominguez the W (2-0, 5.11), and the BS(2) by Tigers RHP Victor Alcantara, would saddle RHP Buck Farmer (1-2, 3.97) with the L. Pat Neshek would be given a H(3) despite giving up a run.
As the Phillies start to get back to a sort of regular starting order, with Odubel Herrera returning sometime this weekend, hopefully the offense will get back to the consistency that they showed top to bottom of the order to start April.
That being said it would be hard to complain about a 16-13 record for the opening month. This record by the way looks a bit familiar, courtesy of Phillies near history twitter guy @2008Philz:
Speaking of consistency, one guy among the overlooked off-season acquisitions because of the #MacHarper mania is backstop J. T. Realmuto. He has been steady on offense with a slash of .280/.347/.439/.786, in 107 AB, 30H, 20R, 4HR, 18 RBI, it is his defense as noted below that has helped us to get over the loss of Jorge Alfaro.
The banged up Nationals (13-17) come to town for a weekend series. With the Phillies missing starts by Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg, and Phillies Killers Anthony Rendon, and Ryan Zimmerman in the IL, this is the time to take at least two out of three.
Though I was born a few blocks from what was to be the NY Worlds Fair/Shea Stadium/Forrest Hills Complex, my parents saved me from being a NY fan by moving to Elkins Park in 1955, when I was 6 months old. I have been living and dying w/ Philly sports teams ever since. Now over 60 , I bring an older, but hopefully not stodgy, spin to this blog. By day I am a mild mannered controller/IT guy for a family business, but by night you will either find me @ CBP at least 17 games a season, and most other nights yelling at my tv as if they can hear me. Though I attend many other local sports, my main love has always been baseball, and my focus here is the Phillies, but I am also part of the team covering the Philadelphia Union.