Series Recap-Phillies Avoid Disaster Sweep in Wednesday Victory
I'm going to be honest, that was a pretty painful series. Not that the Giants are a bad team by any means, but the ways that the Phillies lost the first two days was definitely frustrating. This series did leave many points of discussion however, so let's get into it!
I usually don't do this, but I am going to isolate this game in it's own category because I feel like there were a lot of takeaways. Mickey Moniak finally broke the long streak without hits for Phillies Center Fielders with a 3 run shot to Left, which was super nice to see. I have no idea what his future is going to be, but he at least showed great strides with that clutch home run. An at bat like that can really instill confidence in a player, and I am really hoping that happens to Moniak because I think he had a great series overall. Zach Eflin pitched a really great game, and probably would have went deeper into it if there was no rain delay midway through(Joe Girardi said that was the main factor in pulling him early). It really seemed like this was going to be an easy win for the Phillies, but alas another 3 Run Homer from the Giants and the game all of the sudden is tied. I am going to talk about the bullpen in its own section, but Brandon Kintzler definitely did not have his best stuff today. But, the Phillies bats showed up when they needed them the most, and Andrew Knapp ripped a ball down the line for the walk off winner. How about Knapp? I really thought there was nothing there after a few very lackluster seasons but he was great last season and has been very reliable this year as well.
PS- Darin Ruf? How the heck did we allow that to happen?
Bryce Harper is on Flames
It's not like Bryce was not playing well before this series, but he was unstoppable against San Fransisco. In the last 5 games, Harper has been 11-17 with 5 walks and 2 clutch Home Runs. His on base percentage is up to 1.249, which has been so helpful to the Phillies lineup as JT and Alec Bohm are always great with runners in scoring position. The guy just does what he needs to do whenever he gets to the plate, which is exactly what you want from your franchise cornerstone. Now heading into a series in Coors Field, theres a good chance that this hot streak will continue even more with the short porch down in Colorado. The Phillies sure hope so.
I can't say that I didn't expect this, but the bullpen's hot start definitely did not fully continue in this series. Guys like Connor Brodgon, Brandon Kintzler and Jojo Romero really struggled. Brodgon specifically I thought was strange, since he had the worst performance I think I've seen since he's been in the big leagues. It isn't totally concerning to me, but it is definitely something to look out for since he didn't have any of his stuff and completely collapsed. However, for every bad performance, there are good ones as well! Spencer Howard came out of nowhere today and gave you two scoreless innings when the Phillies really needed it. I really hope the Phillies keep him up when Archie Bradley and Jose Alvarado come off the Injured/COVID List, since all this experience is really going to go a long way for his development. By the way, Hector Neris? Keep sleeping. Another good stretch of games for him.
This is becoming a weekly collum. It is necessary though, because it seems like the "future" at this position changes every time we think we have it figured out. So we got our first real look at Mickey Moniak this week, which was really not the greatest. Although he crushed that home run in the finale, he was almost non existent at the plate besides from that appearance. I also really wasn't impressed with him in the outfield, minus the one catch he had in the 2nd game. I know the catch he made in Game 1 was great, but he completely misjudged it at first. He really shouldn't have been in that position anyway, but I'll give him props for making the play. Roman Quinn really didn't see any time this week, and it is starting to seem that Girardi has much less confidence in him now. Adam Haseley is still out with personal reasons, so we'll see if we get any update on that soon. The only other candidate right now is Scott Kingery, who was brought up due to the Jean Segura injury. Obviously he was brought up to play middle infield, but I could see him starting a game in center during the Colorado series. Odubel Herrera is still in the minors, but after seeing Kingery come up, it seems like he could be brought up at any time(there is really no way to judge it). Right now, it seems like Moniak will be the starter 9 out of 10 games, which I like. I'm super interested to see how he improves going into some tough pitching matchups.
The Phillies have an off day tomorrow, and then will head to Colorado to take on the Rockies in a 3 game series. If we are being realistic, the Phillies should take advantage against an inferior opponent and sweep the series. Game 1 is on Friday at 8:40 PM on NBC Sports Philadelphia(expected pitching matchup is Velasquez vs. Marquez).