Game 1 of today’s Phillies-Padres doubleheader was, to be honest, a giant pile of crap. But if that’s what we had to watch to make it to Game 2, which the Phillies won 5-0, I’m okay with that. Because this game was pretty great.
It began and ended with Vince Velasquez. Well, it didn’t end with him, but it could have. Vinny pitched seven strong, beautiful, scoreless innings today. He allowed just two hits and one walk, and struck out seven. He looked as good as he has all season, and if he can be consistent, that’s exactly what the Phillies need to keep surviving at the top of the NL East.
It all looked so easy for Vinny today. He displayed effortless control and, best of all, economy. He made it through seven innings on just 87 pitches. I wish Gabe Kapler had trusted him to start the eighth, but as he’s said recently about Aaron Nola, he has to earn it. He went a long way toward earning Kap’s trust today.
He was just so good!! I could spend even more time talking about it, but the rest of the pitchers deserve a mention. Because the two (TWO!) hits that Vinny allowed today were the only hits the Padres managed the entire game. Pat Neshek hurled a scoreless eighth, and Adam Morgan and Seranthony Dominguez handled the ninth without incident. It was, in essence, the opposite of Game 1.
And now, the offense. Odubel Herrera got things started in the fourth with a solo home run, which was really the only other action until the seventh inning. The Phillies put up four runs in that frame, and it was a smorgasbord of ways to get on base. Scott Kingery ended his hitless day with a single, and Jorge Alfaro was hit by a pitch. Then Carlos Santana singled which scored the Phillies’ second run. And runs three, four, and five were all thanks to Rhys Hoskins, who homered for the second time today.
And that’s all she wrote. It was a satisfying series win, and the best way to end a weekend. And even better, the Phillies are still in first place. I’m getting tingles.