Tyler Goeddel hasn't exactly been the busiest player on the Phillies roster over the last few weeks, and heck, we'll even cut you some slack if you forgot he was on the roster until that 10-game road trip began.
But baseball can be baseball sometimes, and Goeddel found himself right in the middle of the action Friday night in the Phillies' first game of a nine-game homestand. After an early flub in the outfield, Goeddel redeemed himself later in the game, playing a big part in the Phillies' 3-2 win. Yep, another one-run win. The Phillies are now 13-3 in one-run games. Sheesh.
We'll get the flub out of the way first, because I'm a bad news before good news kind of guy. With runners on the corners and two outs in the second inning, Reds catcher Tucker Barnhart skied a fly ball down the left field line. Goeddel seemed to take the right path to the ball as he faded to his right, but he forgot that whole catching the ball thing. With there being two outs, both runs scored easily, giving the Reds an early 2-0 lead.
The Phillies had put some pressure on Reds starter Brandon Finnegan in the first three innings of the game, but weren't able to push anything across. That changed in the fourth. As Finnegan labored, Carlos Ruiz and Tommy Joseph both reached base with one out.
Goeddel stepped to the plate and smashed a ball down the right field line, keeping it fair by inches. Ruiz and Joseph both scored, and Goeddel hustled all the way to third with a triple. Say what you want about the prowess of the Phillies' outfielders at the plate, but between Goeddel, Peter Bourjos and Odubel Herrera, those guys sure can fly around the bases.
Goeddel helped prove it a moment later, as the Phillies used a safety squeeze to take the lead. Jeremy Hellickson got the bunt down, the Reds had a moment of miscommunication, and Goeddel darted home to put the Phillies up 3-2.
sooo that worked pic.twitter.com/Qo9FaFDlOg— chris jones¯\_(ツ)_/¯ (@LONG_DRIVE) May 14, 2016
And hey, let's backtrack and get to Joseph for a second, who made his Major League debut Friday night after getting the call-up earlier in the afternoon. He was able to score on the Goeddel triple after a walk. His other two at-bats ended up with walks back to the dugout after striking out, but he took some good cuts and didn't look completely out of place. Andres Blanco replaced him for defensive purposes in the late innings. Joseph will probably play again this weekend.
There was also plenty to be said about Hellickson's effort Friday night, his best start of the season. Goeddel's drop didn't cost Hellickson in the earned run department, so he finished the evening with seven strong innings, allowing just four hits, the two unearned runs, a lone walk and nine strikeouts. Amazingly, Hellickson has now struck out Reds first baseman Joey Votto five times this season, three times in Cincinnati on Opening Day and twice Friday night. Go figure.
Hellickson's off-speed stuff was on fire all night, and he buried a few Reds with a great change-up.
Hector Neris entered his 108th game of the season in the 8th inning (OK, it was actually just his 21st) and looked like the Neris we've come to know and expect in 2016.
Jeanmar Gomez was called upon in the 9th in another one-run game. It doesn't seem to bother him at this point. Gomez plunked Votto with one out, but got Brandon Phillips to ground into the tailor-made 6-4-3 double play to end the game.
The Phillies are 21-15. It's mid-May. This doesn't seem like a dream anymore, does it?