Fortunes can shift quickly in baseball. Three days ago, the San Francisco Giants were one of the hottest teams in baseball. They came into town having won four straight and seven of eight.
Consider them sufficiently cooled off. After Wednesday night’s 11-3 win, the Phillies have now outscored the Giants by a cumulative score of 26-5 through the first three games of the series.
An eight-run victory will provide a fair share of heroes, but the most prominent were a couple of players who many fans thought were struggling only a few days ago.
Carlos Santana is Good Now
The company line was that we shouldn’t worry too much about Carlos Santana’s struggles this season. He’s traditionally been a slow starter, and the advanced stats showed that he had suffered some especially bad luck on batted balls. That didn’t do much to stop the grumbling from fans who wondered why the team’s big free agent acquisition was batting well under .200.
There wasn’t much to grumble about tonight. Santana had three hits and five RBIs, giving him a total of ten RBIs for the series. I’d say he was single-handedly beating the Giants, but the rest of the team has done their share of dominating as well.
Nick Pivetta delivered a quality outing
Early on, it appeared as if Nick Pivetta was in for his second straight abbreviated start. He allowed two singles in the first inning, and with his pitch count escalating quickly, it looked like he once again might not make it out of the second. Surprisingly, instead of collapsing, Pivetta chose a different tactic: Strike everybody out.
Thanks to two strikeouts, Pivetta was able to strand those runners. He went on to strike out five more batters, as he didn’t allow a run over the next four innings.
Due to the high pitch count, Pivetta was lifted for a pinch hitter after five innings, but that was still far better than most of us could have hoped for in the first inning.
More Seranthony, Please
Seranthony Dominguez made his second relief appearance of the season, and this one went about as well as his first. In his one inning of work, he retired the side on a crisp nine pitches, including this one:
filthy pitch by Seranthony pic.twitter.com/s9FxSQPvk1— chris jones¯\_(ツ)_/¯ (@LONG_DRIVE) May 10, 2018
Odubel’s Streak Continues
At this point, it would be more newsworthy if Odubel Herrera didn’t reach base. Herrera’s three walks extended his on base streak to 38 games.
The Giants Just Sort of Gave Up
Entering the sixth inning, the Giants were down 5-0 and conceivably still had a chance to make a game of it. That was until the Phillies sent eleven batters to the plate en route to scoring six runs. Two of the runs came via wild pitches which Giants catcher Buster Posey made the barest of efforts to get in front of.
The domination became so great that it temporarily broke the Phillies Twitter account:
Ya know ... We meant 6th* ... but, the things we listed are still true AND still fun.— Philadelphia Phillies (@Phillies) May 10, 2018
The Bad News
Unfortunately, fans who want to watch the Phillies try to complete the sweep on Thursday afternoon will only be able to do so on (shudder) Facebook.