I think we all needed this one.
The last two games that the Phillies have played were disappointing - both in their own separate ways - and the consecutive losses had boiled some negativity into the Philadelphia fan base...
But it’s hard to be negative after tonight:
The game kicked off with an Andrew McCutchen walk, which seemed to set the tone for the Phillies’ game plan against the, occasionally wild, Sandy Alcantara.
Cutch already taking advantage of Alcantara’s tendency to overthrow with that leadoff walk.— Alex Carr (@AlexCarrMLB) April 12, 2019
Jean Segura and Bryce Harper both singled to load the bases, yielding a no-out scoring opportunity for Rhys Hoskins.
However, after Hoskins struck out swinging and JT Realmuto rolled into a double play, the Phillies were left with a big fat zero on the board — but it wouldn’t stay that way for long.
Jake Arrieta took to the mound for the Phils tonight, and his performance was vintage. Sure, he was up against the worst team in the National League, but a gem is a gem, in the end.
In the 3rd inning, the Phillies got the scoring-party started. Andrew McCutchen and Jean Segura singled, giving Bryce Harper men on 1st and 3rd with no outs — and Harper delivered. He hit a sharp liner to right, scoring McCutchen, and giving the Phillies the early lead.
Rhys Hoskins then repented for his aforementioned missed opportunity, and doubled to left, scoring Segura, and moving Harper to 3rd base.
JT Realmuto proceeded to plate Harper on a single to right, and Odubel Herrera sent both Hoskins and Realmuto home on a big double, giving the Phillies an encouraging 5-0 lead.
That would be all for the 3rd inning, but the Phillies would get back to it early in the 5th.
JT Realmuto led the inning off with a single, and would advance on a pickoff attempt turned throwing error by Marlins’ pitcher Sandy Alcantara. He would advance again on an Odubel Herrera grounder, and then proceed to score on a single by Cesar Hernandez.
In the 7th, Jake Arrieta, who had already pitched thru a remarkably solid 6 innings of scoreless ball, would run into a bit of trouble. Ex-Phillie, Jorge Alfaro, stepped to the plate, and singled on a sharp liner to center. He then advanced on a double by Miguel Rojas, and was sac-ed home by Austin Dean, giving Miami their lone run in this one.
Arrieta was dazzling tonight, tossing 7 innings of 1-run ball, while only giving up 5 hits, 1 walk, and striking out 8. This particular outing was oddly reminiscent of 2016 Jake Arrieta — and I think I speak for every Phillie fan when I say — it would be a pleasure to have Arrieta return to anything remotely resembling his Cy Young winning days this season.
The Phillies would cap the scoring off in the 8th inning, as a single by Maikel Franco followed by Nick Williams’ hit by pitch would put runners on 1st and 2nd for Andrew McCutchen, who punished a hanging breaking ball with a long shot to deep center field, handing the Phillies a dominant 9-1 win over the Fish.
Victor Arano made his first Major League appearance of the season to close this one out, and pitched 2 hitless frames to tie the night up with a bow.
So, it just goes to show, for every awful loss, there is a triumphant win, and I’m sure the Phillies are glad to put the prior game behind them — for good.
It’ll be exciting to see how the rest of this series in Florida plays out. After all, Sandy Alcantara was the decided ace of the Marlins’ staff — I wonder what the other Miami starters might have to offer this exciting Phillies lineup...
Andrew McCutchen — 3-for-4, 2 R, 3 RBI, BB, SO
Jean Segura — 3-for-5, R
Bryce Harper — 2-for-5, R, RBI, 2 SO
JT Realmuto — 2-for-5, 2 R, RBI, SO