Sometimes, we just have to take a step back and remember we’re all on the same side here, right? After a bit of controversy last night and plenty of, uh, discussion about said controversy throughout the day, the Phillies decided to put all of that aside and win a game in the least controversial of ways Wednesday night.
The baseball gods are out there laughing somewhere right about now, seeing that after Odubel Herrera’s non-benching benching, Cameron Rupp would have to play hero after sharing some critical words about the outfielder after Tuesday’s contest. But Wednesday would be a new day, and it would be a 9-0 victory for the Phillies.
And while Rupp may have played a major role in the victory (more on that later), it’s worth noting that Aaron Nola’s fantastic 2017 continued against one of the better lineups in baseball. Nola hurled six scoreless innings and posted a career-high 10 strikeouts against Houston, with his curveball looking spicy once again and his fastball effectively commanded all night long. Nola now has a 1.49 ERA in his last nine starts.
As for the offense, there would be plenty of it. With the home television crew sitting in right field for the evening in their annual quest to annoy fans outside the booth, Ben Davis regaled us with a little story. It wasn’t the most interesting story, but it was a story about a bet and a man named Cam. Ben said that he’d give Rupp $10 if he hit a homerun to him. The TV crew was stationed closer to center than the right field line, hanging out near the bullpens. Rupp just missed his mark, but did indeed smash a two-run homerun that got the Phillies on the board in the bottom of the 4th. Ben, just pay up anyway.
Meanwhile, in between Rupp excitement, there was some Maikel Franco excitement for the evening. Franco, who had gone cold over the last few games, hit a towering two-run homer to left field that hugged the foul pole, giving the Phillies a 5-0 lead.
Rupp would work a little more magic in the 6th inning, taking a Michael Perez pitch out for a ride to center. For Rupp, it was his second two-run blast of the game, putting the Phillies up 9-0. That would be plenty for the Phillies on this night.
Of course, not everything can always go right. Howie Kendrick, whom the Phillies were giving some run with Herrera on the bench for the evening, was hit in the hand with a pitch in the 3rd inning. He was pinch-hit for in the 4th, and it was later announced that he left the game with left hand soreness. There are only hours left until the July 31 deadline, and it’s looking more and more like Kendrick could be on this roster into August.
But that didn’t mean Matt Klentak wasn’t busy Wednesday night, because it was announced after the game that the team’s lone All-Star, Pat Neshek, was shipped to Colorado in exchange for three minor league prospects. Pat, we hardly knew ye. Thanks for the (brief) memories.