The Phillies are 1-0 in the New Maikel Franco Era.
OK, so the Phils rookie third baseman didn't do much in his 2015 debut (0-for-4 with a strikeout), but he was on hand to see the Phillies win their third straight game, a 4-3 decision over the pretty putrid Arizona Diamondbacks.
That's a three-game winning streak, folks, the first since August of last year. Let's go to Lou Brown for his analysis.
I don't know about you guys, but consider me inspired.
The two teams came into the game with a combined record of 28-41, and for most of the night played like it. The Phils got a decent outing from starter Chad Billingsley, who pitched six innings and gave up two runs on seven hits with one walk and two strikeouts, holding the Diamondbacks scoreless until the 7th. But for a moment there it appeared as if he'd be done in by a shaky bullpen and an offense that has a chronic knack for failing to come through in the clutch.
The Phillies took a 1-0 lead in the 6th after Ryan Howard doubled to score Freddy Galvis. With no one out and runners on 2nd and 3rd (Grady Sizemore and Howard), the Phils squandered a golden opportunity to score more runs. Franco struck out, Chase Utley flied out weakly to left and Odubel Herrera grounded out to the pitcher.
In all the Phils went 3-for-13 with runners in scoring position, throwing chances away all night long against Diamondbacks starter Chase Anderson. And it looked like missing out on that golden opportunity was going to kill them in the 7th when, after giving up two singles to start the inning, Billingsley was replaced by Justin De Fratus.
De Fratus got the first two outs, but then gave up a single to A.J. Pollock and a double to Paul Goldschmidt to give the D-Backs a 3-1 lead.
But to their credit, the Phils offense responded in the bottom of the 7th. Singles by Carlos Ruiz and Cesar Hernandez opened the inning. A wild pitch by reliever Oliver Perez put runners and 2nd and 3rd with no out, the same situation in which the Phillies failed to score the inning before. Would the Phils come through this time?
Well, if you looked at the headline above with the score in it, you'd know that was one of those rhetorical questions.
After Ben Revere struck out, the red-hot Galvis came to the plate, and knocked in both runs with a soft single to center. He advanced to third as the throw home from Pollock went past the catcher, a costly error.
Jeff Francoeur followed with a pinch-hit single down the left field line to give the Phils a 4-3 lead. And with both Ken Giles and Jonathan Papelbon getting the night off, reliever Luis Garcia impressively got the last five outs of the game for his first career save.
With his 2-for-2 performance, Galvis is now hitting an insane .355. And not to be lost in all this was the performance of Billingsley, who was easily the sharpest he's been, in his third start since coming off the disabled list.
All that fun equals a three-game winning streak, gang.
Phillies win three in a row!!! They're going streaking..... pic.twitter.com/Df1WXaHtRY— Brooklyn (@Brookie425) May 16, 2015
Let's get crazy.