Vince Velasquez has had an interesting news week this week. First, there was the story that he had thoracic outlet syndrome surgery that removed one of his ribs to help alleviate the numbness he was feeling his hand. Then he didn’t have the rib removed because the writer didn’t get the quote correctly. Then it was his turn in the rotation to make a start.
Boy, what a start it was.
Feeling quite good in the warm Missouri air, Velasquez rode a fastball that nipped the edges of ninety miles per bour and a curveball that broke with a wicked purpose all night to a 6 1⁄3 inning dominating performance, helping the Phillies go nine games over .500.
The game started out as a pitcher’s duel between Velasquez and Cardinals starter Luke Weaver. Through four innings, each pitcher put up matching zeroes on the scoreboard. Then Carlos Santana came to the plate and broke that tie.
Carlos Santana. 437 feet. 1-0 Phillies. pic.twitter.com/jnZd7HjDG5— chris jones¯\_(ツ)_/¯ (@LONG_DRIVE) May 18, 2018
The score would stay that way until the seventh, when the Cardinals would pose a pretty serious threat after Rhys Hoskins misplayed a ball that allowed runners to reach second and third with one out. With the infield playing in, everybody’s new favorite reliever, Seranthony Dominguez, came in the get out of the jam. He induced a groundout that led to a forceout at home plate and followed that by inducing a flyball against pinch hitter Greg Garcia that kept the score at 1-0, Phillies. It was a big spot for the rookie and he impressed yet again.
Seranthony Dominguez is more impressive every time we see him.— Joe Giglio (@JoeGiglioSports) May 18, 2018
In the eighth inning, the team was looking for more runs and got them when the team loaded the bases with nobody out for Aaron Altherr. Altherr would deliver with a broken bat single that plated two, extending the score to 3-0. Odubel Herrera, who earlier extending his consecutive games reaching base streak to 43, followed that with an RBI double that made it 4-0.
In the bottom of the inning, the Cardinals decided to show up and make a game of it, getting two runs back when Yacksel Rios walked the first hitter, then was replaced by Luis Garcia, who promptly allowed a single and a hit batter, loading the bases. Marcell Ozuna bounced into a fielder’s choice that gave the Cardinals their first run, then Jedd Gyorko singled two batters later, giving them another run before Harrison Bader flied out the end the inning with the score now 4-2.
In the ninth, Jorge Alfaro led off with a single before Pedro Florimon, into the game as part of a double switch in the 8th, came to the plate with a chance to add to the lead.
Even though Edubray Ramos tried his best to make things interesting in the bottom of the ninth, he escaped without allowing a run, closing the door on a 6-2 Phillies victory.
- As previously mentioned, Herrera ran his on base streak to 43 consecutive games. Next on the all-time Phillies list: Chuck Klein, who had 44 consecutive games in 1931.
- Velasquez has now gone 6+ innings in back to back starts three times this season. His ERA stands at 4.37, down a run and a half from where it rested on April 29 (5.70). He’s a good starting pitcher and is making his case to stay in the rotation once Jerad Eickhoff is ready to return.
- After homering only twice all of April, Carlos Santana now has six in May. He is heating up right on schedule.