After tonight’s 6-1 win against the Reds had concluded, my dad sent me a text message.
“Enough with the grand slams already!!”
First, my dad is adorable, and I get my sarcasm from him. Second, there will never be enough! NEVER!
This was a helluva game, folks. Aaron Nola looked like a legitimate ace. Gabe Kapler trusted him to pitch eight full innings. The offense stayed calm and persistent. Cesar Hernandez, MY PERSONAL HERO, broke up Homer Bailey’s no-hitter. And there’s so much more!
Let’s do a quick review. Essentially nothing happened in the first 5.1 innings, which is to say Reds starter Homer Bailey was throwing a no-hitter. Thank god this didn’t happen, because that would be endlessly embarrassing. And let’s all thank Cesar Hernandez for breaking the dam and getting the Phillies’ first hit of the night. He hit a single, and then stole (!!!) second base. Odubel Herrera doubled him home, one of two (TWO!) doubles he hit tonight. He’s looking mighty at the plate, and I love it. That double tied the game, and the Phillies went ahead in the seventh on a Nick Williams double and a JP Crawford single.
It doesn’t really matter when the Reds scored their first (AND ONLY) run against Aaron Nola. He didn’t let that faze him. He just kept on being Aaron Nola and mowing hitters down. He allowed three (THREE!) hits over eight (EIGHT!) innings, walking three and striking out six. He looked like the ace we know he is. God he’s so good. And don’t you let anyone tell you otherwise. The Phillies certainly aren’t.
“AARON NOLA ISN’T AN ACE!” pic.twitter.com/eDCMy3IQpp— Philadelphia Phillies (@Phillies) April 11, 2018
Inject that into my veins. And Gabe Kapler let it ride, allowing Nola to finish eight strong innings and putting Hoby Milner into the game in the ninth.
I haven’t mentioned the biggest highlight of the night. Bigger than Cesar breaking up the no-hitter. Bigger than JP’s confidence-building hit. Bigger than Odubel Herrera’s two (TWO!) doubles.
I’m talking about Scott Kingery’s grand slam. I’m sorry, I mean his GRAND FREAKING SLAM, OH MY GOD OH MY GOD.
How's this for some insurance? pic.twitter.com/ItVy4Tsrav— Philadelphia Phillies (@Phillies) April 11, 2018
His first grand slam ever. His second home run ever. In his ninth game ever. MY GOD IT’S FULL OF STARS.
I love this team. Those first few games were rough, but they made it through. They’re playing cohesively. They’re learning. They’ve won their fourth game in a row. It’s not the end of the Phillies’ trials, but it’s progress. And it’s so much fun, which is the most important thing about this season.
If you want to know what happiness is, watch this interview between Gregg Murphy and Scott Kingery. The interview itself is fine, but as Kingery talks, you can hear Harry Kalas singing “High Hopes” in the background. Try not to get choked up, I dare you.
I like to imagine how Harry would have said Scott Kingery’s name. KING-ery, with that melodic growl. Harry would have liked this team a lot.