Phillies win again! BRING ON THE FACTOIDS.
The Phillies would be in first place if they played in the NL West or AL West. Which they do not, of course.— Ryan Lawrence (@ryanlawrence21) May 1, 2016
The #Phillies are four games over .500 for the first time since Sept 28, 2011 (102-60).— Ace of MLB Stats (@theaceofspaeder) May 1, 2016
The Phillies (14-10) have scored only one more run than Braves (5-18) have through same number of games. Team records are just tad different— Meghan Montemurro (@M_Montemurro) May 1, 2016
At four games over .500, these Phillies have been so good for so long that the world isn't quite sure what to do with them. But as long as they keep winning, they'll keep refreshing the old benchmarks the franchise has set over the course of the last few disappointing years.
If they're going to keep winning, all they'll need to do is keep putting their starting pitching on the mound. Even with Charlie Morton sidelined forever, the staff has shown that its up to the task, including another solid start from Jerad Eickhoff on this very night that ended with Freddy Galvis and even Peter Bourjos showing why they are valuable. Darin Ruf made a great catch! In the outfield!
You always hear good teams talking about how every night, someone is there to pick them up. Galvis has not had the most stunning 2016, but when he has stepped up, it has been in some tight spots. Tonight, Galvis decided to get started a little earlier. One thing about this Phillies team's offense - you never know when they're going to strike. Or, if. Or from where. It's like being attacked by squirrels.
Odubel Herrera slapped the game's first pitch right back in Trevor Bauer's face with a lead-off single. Galvis stepped in and waited all the way until he'd established an 0-1 count to blast a two-run jack to right center and give the Phillies a 2-0 lead. The next inning, Darin Ruf led off with a double, and after getting advanced to third, was singled home by slick-hittin' Jerad Eickhoff. Sitting on a 3-0 lead in only the second inning, life was good.
But the Indians were able to get a run across in their half of the third when Cleveland's Lonnie Chisenhall was on third and Jason Kipnis batting with only one out. And then, well; I don't know, guys. I don't know what the hell's going on.
I mean, there it is. There's Darin Ruf making a clutch play in the outfield. It's like viewing indisputable evidence of a UFO landing on Bigfoot's head. But here we are. Ruf hit a double tonight, too, but his offensive struggles have made his bat less demanding in the lineup, and therefore made it less necessary to jam him into an outfield spot, but tonight he came through as a defender in a way that he has not really come through has an offender.
Things got rocky for Eickhoff in the fifth when a lead-off triple led to a seemingly inevitable sac fly. Chisenhall singled to reach base, again, and stole second, and scored, again, thanks to Jason Kipnis, AGAIN. The Indians had a formula on this night, and it seemed to revolve around Chisenhall reaching base, something he appeared to do with ease vs. Eickhoff. Fortunately, the inning ended only with the game tied 3-3.
Eickhoff would exit after six innings, striking out four and walking none, but allowing three earned runs on six hits. He was replaced by Andrew Bailey, who threw a clean inning, as did the combination of Elvis Araujo and Colton Murray in the seventh. Then, it was time for Freddy Galvis to bat again.
David Lough singled to start the inning, and wound up screaming home from second base on a bloopy Galvis hit to right field. Galvis did not make great contact, and in fact, had connected for what would have been an out if defenders has been positioned differently, a gust of wind had blown the ball off course, or if the baseball gods cared about humans anymore. But instead, the ball hit the ground, and the Phillies led 4-3.
Lights out closer Jeanmar Gomez - I know!! - gave up two hits, and put himself in a fairly squirrely position with two outs. Kipnis stepped in and thundered a ball to right field, where the Phillies' worst hitter was waiting.
Bourjos has been big disappointment offensively, but that catch to save game is why Phillies acquired him.— Todd Zolecki (@ToddZolecki) May 1, 2016
So this is what it's come to, mm? Celebrating the likes of Darin Ruf as a defender? Having to tip our caps to Peter Bourjos? Applauding the offensive output of Freddy Galvis? Let me ask you something: What in the hell is going on?
The 2016 Phillies are going on, friend. And until reality sets in and crushes all of us, this is as good as it gets.