I’ve been writing about Freddy Galvis a lot lately, and in each instance I’ve made reference to his being a rookie in 2012. In Sunday’s lineup, Galvis and Cesar Hernandez were the only players over 25 years old. Isn’t that something? Anyways, It’s late September, but now the Phillies have to play two interleague games.
The White Sox
Originally, Monday was an off day for Chicago, but a rain postponement forced them to play a day game in Kansas City before jetting to Philadelphia, where the well-rested Phillies will be waiting for them.
Man, these ChiSox. They don’t have a real bad stretch of games this year - they lost four games in a row twice and five games in a row once. But even that was enough to neutralize a hot start as they seemed to churn out a balanced ratio of W’s and L’s throughout the rest of the year; certainly not pushing in one way or the other beyond the fourth place, 72-78 record that defines them. Remember when Chris Sale went crazy and chopped up everyone’s uniforms with a knife? He logged his 200th strikeout last week and leads the AL in complete games. Hope he’s not around. For a couple reasons.
Melky Cabrera: Ten hits in his last seven games, including two doubles and a homer. Melky hit .208 in August. Now he’s slashing .329/.373/.487 in September. Somebody tell him the White Sox are out of it, if he can even hear you over the sound of balls being bashed.
Adam Eaton: Sanchez’s clutch hits have really brought out the paternal instincts of the White Sox outfielder.
Adam Eaton wanted to rock Carlos Sanchez like a baby after Sanchez's game-winning hit, but couldn't be he was being mobbed. #WhiteSox— Dan Hayes (@CSNHayes) September 15, 2016
Odubel Herrera: ‘Dubes has this. He just needed you to doubt him.
Freddy Galvis: Well, he did it. Freddy Galvis has 20 home runs in one season. That’s the world we live in now. "Oh, I remember that Freddy Galvis," someone in the future will say. "Wasn’t much of a hitter." "No, he was good," we’ll remind them. "Oh right," they’ll reply. "I was thinking of Cesar Hernandez." "No," we’ll sigh, massaging our temples. "He was good too."
Tommy Joseph: Joseph and Galvis have been going home-for-homer this week, with Galvis pulling ahead with his fourth on Sunday (Joseph has three; go to hell, baseballs).
The is the first time the Phillies have had 4 infielders with at least 20 HR: (Howard 22, Franco 22, Joseph 20, Galvis 20).— Ryan Lawrence (@ryanlawrence21) September 18, 2016
James Shields vs. Jake Thompson, 7:05 p.m.
Chris Sale vs. Jerad Eickhoff, 7:05 p.m.
It wasn’t so long ago that Pete Mackanin was worried about Thompson even staying in the Phillies’ rotation. Now, the 22-year-old has pitched more innings percentage-wise than his arm has ever thrown (174.1) between the minors and majors. He’s still got that wonky 6.0 SO/9 and 1.36 SO/W in eight starts, but his last four starts have seen his ERA drop by over 2.00 points, as he's thrown 7.0 IP twice and allowed far more sane numbers of hits and earned runs. The Phillies have lost three of them anyway.
Thompson’s last start saw him go 6.0 innings, throw 90 pitches, and let the Nationals score only twice despite six hits and three walks. The White Sox are not the Nationals; therefore, the New, Good Jake Thompson should be able to beat them. The Old, Bad Thompson was actually shoved around by the White Sox on August 23, when they tagged him with 7 ER in 5.0 IP. But that’s over. That’s over now.
Eickhoff just keeps making history. In his last start, he allowed more home runs in one game than in any other start this season as the Pirates teed off on him for four dingers. In classic Eickhoff fashion, he wasn’t particularly ruffled by any of them until the last one, which was a three-run bomb. He’s gone six innings in his last six starts, not needing 100 pitches until the last one, probably because of all of the home runs the Pirates wouldn’t stop hitting.