God, this team is so much fun.
That is the main thing you need to know about last night's game. That this Phillies team is more fun than any Phillies team for the last five years.
There are a few more things you need to know about last night's game.
Adam Morgan had a decent start. For his first major league start in 2016, Adam Morgan didn't do badly. He tossed five innings and gave up three runs, all in the fifth inning. He also has seven strikeouts in those five innings, which is superb. Morgan is replacing poor Charlie Morton, who hurt his hamstring running to first base last week. Morgan showed last night why he really could have been the team's fifth starter, and thank goodness the Phillies have that kind of depth.
There were a few blown chances. The main one I'm thinking of is in the fifth inning, when the Phillies actually managed to tie the game. But they could have done more! Chooch and Ryan Howard started the inning with this:
Chooch and Howard back-to-back hits ::draws hearts on notebook paper::— Liz Roscher (@lizroscher) April 30, 2016
Howard doubled, and then Chooch doubled him home. Then Cesar Hernandez reached on a fielding error, and David Lough singled to score Chooch. And then Darin Ruf came up with two on and no outs - no outs, Darin! - and he swings at the very first pitch. You can guess what happened next by this excellent tweet from our own Justin Klugh.
Darin Ruf is sort of the "run-scoring double play" of players.— Justin Klugh (@justin_klugh) April 30, 2016
Because he is. He really is. HE SWUNG AT THE FIRST PITCH, WHY GOD WHY.
Phillies pitching likes strikeouts. Phillies pitchers threw 11 innings last night, and they racked up 18 strikeouts. 18! That is a LOT! The Phillies are leading all of baseball in strikeouts right now! That is insane! But it's really happening! Remember like three weeks ago when the bullpen was terrible? It's true, that really happened! But it seems like a dream now, or at least it will until the next time the bullpen has an extended period of suckiness. It will happen again, but at least we know this is what they're capable of.
Ryan Howard can still murder a baseball. I know exactly what it looks like when Ryan Howard hits a no-doubter. The way his bat falls after he's hit it, how he starts his trot toward first, it's so comforting. To end last night's game in the bottom of the 11th inning, Ryan Howard hit a walk-off home run, and it was glorious. It really was. The new guys are nipping at his heels, but he can still do what he does best.
The Phillies have won four straight games, and they've won seven of their last eight. They may not be GREAT, but they're so, so fun. So don't look away, or you might miss something.