I kept waiting for the Royals to come back and win this game. It seemed like they could at any minute, considering the state of Phillies pitching lately. But they didn’t. The Phillies beat the Royals by five runs, and the Royals didn’t have the lead once.
It first seemed like things could fall apart just five pitches into the first inning. Vincent Velasquez pitched to the first batter, and after Alex Gordon hit a single, Pete Mackanin and the trainer paid him a visit.
Vince Velasquez's fastball topped out at 90 mph to the first batter. Getting a visit from Mackanin and team trainer.— Todd Zolecki (@ToddZolecki) July 3, 2016
Todd Zolecki has a pretty great blow-by-blow account of the touch-and-go first inning.
He is remaining in the game for now. But after Gordon singled to center, Rupp had a long talk with him on the mound.— Todd Zolecki (@ToddZolecki) July 3, 2016
Long talks with Cameron Rupp is my very favorite imaginary YouTube show.
Velasquez walks Kendrys Morales on a 93 mph fastball. His best one of the day, so far. Everything else 90 or under.— Todd Zolecki (@ToddZolecki) July 3, 2016
So, uh, that’s not good. That’s very slow for Vinny Velasquez. No siree that is not good at all.
Velasquez's fastball averaged 95.7 mph in his last start in Arizona. It's "up" to 91-92 in that last at-bat against Eric Hosmer.— Todd Zolecki (@ToddZolecki) July 3, 2016
No, please make it stop. Please throw faster, Vinny.
Velasquez watch: He threw a 95 mph to Cuthbert before striking him out swinging on a 93 mph fastball.— Todd Zolecki (@ToddZolecki) July 3, 2016
That was the last batter in the first inning, and things got better from there. By the end of the fourth inning, he was touching 95 and 96 on the gun. He gave up a walk and then a two-out, two-run homer to Alex Gordon in the fifth, but it was overall a good outing for Vinny, especially since it could have gone in a much different direction.
Every position player had a hit today. But worthy mention were the three players who hit homers today: Cody Asche, Cameron Rupp, and Maikel Franco. Rupp had a two-hit game, and Franco had a three-hit game. Rupp’s homer was in the first inning, and it scored three runs off of Yordano Ventura. Asche’s bomb? It landed in the second deck in the third inning. Franco’s solo shot was in the eighth, his third and final hit of the day. The Phillies hitters were ready to hold up the pitchers with nothing but their bats, but thankfully they didn’t have to.
The Phillies just took two of three from the reigning World Series champions, and they won their first series at home since mid-May. And we’re not the only ones happy about this.
The Phillies found black cowboy hats in their lockers postgame. Carlos Ruiz purchased them. They're all wearing them to Colorado.— Todd Zolecki (@ToddZolecki) July 3, 2016
I love this team.