What a way to head to the All Star Break for the Phillies! They take 2 out of 3 from one of the best teams in baseball to head into the break with a .500 record.
It wasn't easy, but the Phillies saw many players step up to help them claim the series win.
In Game 1, many fans thought the Phillies were back to their old ways. After the offense started great in the first inning, Vince Velasquez imploded. The Red Sox put up a 7 spot on Vinny V before he was replaced in the 3rd by Enyel De Los Santos.
As you can imagine, De Los Santos did not fare much better. He gave up another two runs in the third, and the game was all but over then.
Although this game was an all around struggle for the Phillies, we did get a Ronald Torreyes pitching appearance. So it is not all bad. You can be relieved to hear that he pitched a scoreless 8th.
The Final Score was 11-5 Red Sox.
The 2nd game of this 3 game set was a lot more positive for the Phils.
The offense once again shined early, with Jean Segura hitting a leadoff bomb over the Green Monster. After a 1-2-3 inning for Matt Moore, Alec Bohm continued his hot streak with a 2 Run HR to put the Phillies up 3-0 in the second.
All in all, Matt Moore was solid. He only gave you 4.1 innings, but the only run given up was a homer to Xander Bogaerts. Hector Neris replaced him in the 5th.
In the 8th inning, the Phillies broke this game open. Rhys Hoskins had a 2 RBI Double, Ronald Torreyes had a RBI single, Jean Segura had an RBI Single and Bryce Harper capped it off with a 2 RBI Double right off the Green Monster. This offense coming to light has really been a great sight to see, and definitely has a correlation with the Phils getting healthy. Guys like Harper, Segura, Rhys and Cutch had great performances against the Cubs and the Red Sox.
Connor Brogdon closed out the game and the Phillies won 11-2.
Joe Girardi had to be feeling good, heading into Game 3 with Aaron Nola on the bump. That feeling was short lived however, as it was announced on Sunday morning that Nola, Connor Brogdon, Bailey Falter and Alec Bohm had been placed on the COVID-19 list. Bohm had tested positive and the others are close contacts. No futher updates have been provided.
So that forced the Phillies to start Brandon Kintzler, who was on a very short leash, then pass it over to Christopher Sanchez(who was just called up from AAA). Kintzler looked good after 1, and then gave up a homer to Xander Bogaerts.
Christopher Sanchez shined after Kintzler. Definitely a positive sign heading into the second half.
The offense was not as unstoppable as the previous few games, but they still showed up when needed. Torreyes especially, who hit a 3 run bomb in the 4th inning, which would eventually prove to be the winning runs.
After the Phillies gained the lead from Ronny Torreyes, it was all up to the Phillies bullpen to finish this series win. Although it was not easy, they did just that. Hector Neris limited the damage in the 5th, which led to Jose Alvarado in the 6th. Alvarado did what he does best, losing control and giving up runs, and didn't even make it out of the inning before making it a one run game.
Girardi then put his faith in Ranger Suarez to pitch 3 full innings and save the game for Philadelphia. I was skeptical, but man did Ranger deliver. He went through the entire Boston order and more, clinching the series for the Phils. He has proven, at least for now, that he is the only option as a closer for this team. Phillies win 5-4.
So, how about that end to the first half for the Phillies? With everyone claiming the Phillies may blow it up at the deadline, they find themselves 3.5 games back from the 1st Place New York Mets. It is worth noting that the Mets have one of the hardest schedules in the 2nd half, and the Phillies have one of the easiest. The trade deadline is a discussion I'll have in an article soon, but the Phillies have definitely made things interesting.
To close, I just wanted to express my sadness and prayers to Ronald Acuña Jr. after he suffered a devastating season ending injury. This is bad for the Braves and the game of baseball in general. Hopefully he has a speedy recovery.