The Philadelphia Phillies rebounded from their 5-4 loss Monday at Dodger Stadium winning 6-1 Tuesday night. Jake Arrieta once again looked SHARP tossing seven innings while allowing no runs, striking out five, and walking two. The Dodgers’ SP Kenta Maeda was pulled in the second inning after straining his hip but he wasn’t the only casualty from the injury bug.
Pedro Florimon, the crafty backup infielder/emergency reliever, fouled a ball off his foot in the first inning, finished the at-bat, and promptly removed himself from the game with a broken foot. All props to Pedro for toughing it out but the question I have is what the hell is going on with these foul balls? First Rhys rings one right off his head and now Pedro breaks his foot? The juju guy in me is saying something is not sitting right in Chavez Revine. Think about how many Dodgers have gotten hurt this year. If the Phils are smart, they’ll have already overnighted all necessary protective padding for the next two days. Anyway, back to the game.
The final two innings were pitched by Hector Neris, Tommy Hunter, and Edubray Ramos. Neris continues to struggle as he was only able to get one out while allowing three hits and a run. Hunter picked up the pieces and shut down the eighth inning with Ramos went 1-2-3 in the ninth. It was a much-needed bounce back for the Phils’ bullpen, Neris aside.
Offensively, the Phillies looked fantastic! 12 hits, six were extra-base hits (XBHs), 6-17 with runners in scoring position, where has this been! What is even better is that all nine spots in the lineup recorded a hit some point in the night. Cesar Hernandez got on base during all five of his plate appearances out of the lead-off spot and Jorge Alfaro got two doubles in the eighth spot! And guess who recorded the pinch-hit single in the 9-hole? Rhys! Last night was incredibly encouraging to see and hopefully, the Phillies will carry their sharp play through the rest of the road trip. Game three of this four-game set will be tonight at 10:10 ET with Zach Eflin taking on Ross Stripling.
- Maikel Franco went 2-4 last night with another RBI after subbing in for Florimon. Franco has really come out the slight slump he fell into in the middle of the month and proven to be a valuable part of the lineup. While not the quickest member of the team, it will be interesting to see if he moves around in the lineup. It seems like Rhys will stay in the two-hole and Santana will be batting cleanup but I wouldn’t be opposed to seeing Kapler experiment while trying to get Rhys out of his slump. The only true issues with moving Franco higher than five are his speed and his lack of XBHs in May. While he’s still second on the team amongst qualifying batters in slugging percentage, Franco only has 8 (4 2Bs and 4 HRs) in May.
- I’m really not sure what to make of Neris at this point. Even seventh-inning duties with a six-run lead cause him to struggle now. Kapler and the rest of the Phillies management have commented that they want their relievers to not be pigeon-holed into certain roles which explains why they were so quick to pull from the closer title. At this point, however, Neris is looking more and more like a last resort. I would rather send him down to the Iron Pigs and have him regain confidence there than put him in a ten-run game. While neither looked particularly sharp at the start of the season with the Phillies, bringing back Hoby Milner or Zac Curtis wouldn’t be the worst idea compared to Neris, and they’re both lefties. Milner has been solid for the Pigs pitching a 1.32 ERA in 13 appearances while Curtis has a 2.55 ERA in 14 appearances. Remember, Milner had a 2.01 ERA last season with the Phillies over 31.1 innings.
What do you guys think? How will the rest of the Dodgers series go? Let me know in the comments!Follow @geordo9