For the past month, the Phillies have been terrible. But now, let's just say they're in the middle of a bona fide hot streak.
OK, maybe not for other teams. But, winning 2 of their last 3 is, for this team, in this year, a hot streak.
Today's win was, in many ways, similar to Thursday's win. On Thursday, both of the team's runs were driven in by Tommy Joseph, on a solo shot and a walk-off single. Today, two of the team's 4 runs were driven in by Joseph, on a solo shot and a walk-off single.
Also on Thursday, the Phils' starter only made it through 5 innings, but the bullpen posted blanks for the rest of the game. Today, the Phils' starter lasted only 5.1 innings, but the bullpen posted blanks the rest of the way.
Not that this is a formula for long-term success. Today's 4 runs came on just 7 total hits. Along with Joseph, Cesar Hernandez and Michael Saunders hit solo home runs. Other than Joseph's game winning single and Aaron Altherr's single before that, putting Altherr in position to score on Joseph's hit, the Phils mustered a single, a double, and one walk. That's it.
On the pitching side of things, as amazing as the bullpen has been, the starting pitching, though not terrible today or Thursday, has not been able to pitch deep into games. I believe I'm remembering the stat correctly that no Phillies starting pitcher has gotten an out in the 8th inning this year. (Correct me below if I'm wrong.) Today, Jerad Eickhoff gave up 9 base runners over 5.1 innings. Thankfully, Edubray Ramos, Pat Neshek, Joaquin Benoit, and Hector Neris (he's baaack!) continued their dominance.
Long-term, the Phils need more base runners in bunches and more outs from their starters. But for now, we'll take this formula for success.