In a sport where every team plays 162 games every season, I know it’s important for teams to get in games whenever they can. Even when the conditions are terrible. LIKE TONIGHT, FOR INSTANCE. There was a 90-minute rain delay, and I’m not sure how they determined it was okay to start, because it was an actual torrential downpour.
I’m not going to complain THAT much, though. The rain helped the Phillies get out to a very early four-run lead in the first inning, on a double and a Tommy Joseph three-run home run. Joseph absolutely CRUSHED a ball from Brett Anderson into the bleachers. The Phils continued to put a hurting on Anderson in the second, chasing him from the game with three more runs.
And just when you thought it was over, the Phillies kept on hitting. They scored three runs in the seventh inning on two home runs. One came from Michael Saunders, and the other came from Freddy Galvis. One ALMOST came from Odubel Herrera, who hit the ball with a satisfying thwack and a twirly bat flip, only to see it die on the warning track. I’m amazed he didn’t get a pitch square in the back from the Cubs after that.
Aaron Altherr had himself a night. 2-for-4 with a walk and three RBI. Both of his hits were doubles. He also played some nice defense (at times). Howie Kendrick is coming off the DL soon, but Altherr is trying to lay a claim to a starting spot. Between Kendrick, Altherr, and Saunders, someone will eventually have to be the odd man out, but I’m not placing my bets on anyone yet.
In all, the Phillies scored 10 runs on 12 hits. The Cubs got had quite a lot less. And that brings up the Phillies pitching. Oh, the Phillies pitching. They allowed two runs on four hits as a whole. Vince Velasquez had a mostly great night, going five innings and allowing just one run on two hits.
Vinny Velasquez, who had thrown 44 pitches through the 3rd, threw 37 in the 4th— Ben Harris (@byBenHarris) May 2, 2017
He really labored in the fourth, but he got through it. He didn’t allow a run until the fifth, a solo shot from Javy Baez. Edubray Ramos allowed the second run in the seventh, which came from a sac fly. Joely Rodriguez pitched a hitless eighth inning, and Pat Neshek handled the ninth.
That all happened. And it was completely worth the wait.