It’s no secret that the Phillies’ offense has struggled to put big numbers on the board of late — and tonight was looking to be no different...
That is, until the 7th inning struck, but we’ll get to that in a bit.
Aaron Nola took the mound for the Phils tonight, looking to follow up on his solid start last week against the Marlins — and he did just that.
The good guys got off to a relatively promising start, as three straight singles in the bottom of the 2nd led to an early 1-0 lead, thanks to a hard-hit grounded single from Cesar Hernandez.
However, past this momentary blip of offense, things looked bleak for the Phightin’ Phils.
There was no shortage of opportunities for the home team, especially when guys like Andrew McCutchen, Jean Segura, and Cesar Hernandez were racking up hit after hit over the full duration of the game. Yet, the struggling offense couldn’t seem to plate said potential runs as they came, which was, to state things plainly, frustrating.
Fast forward to the 6th inning, where the Tigers put Aaron Nola’s promising night to an end via a single by JaCoby Jones that ended up tying the game. Nola was then replaced by Hector Neris, who recorded the final out of the inning, holding the game at 1-1.
Nola turned in a second respectable outing tonight, and, while he’s still working thru some kinks, has reassured the fanbase with some positive progress.
Two solid outings from Aaron Nola in a row? It couldn’t be!!— Alex Carr (@AlexCarrMLB) May 2, 2019
He’s still refining everything, but was solid tonight. His curveball location was spot on, his changeup and fastball were less so.
He’s starting to figure it out.
His final line:
5.2 IP, 7 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 6 K
Seranthony Dominguez then took to the mound to pitch the 7th, and, while his stuff was deceptive and powerful as ever, the Tigers managed to bleed a run out of him via a few blooped singles, giving the bad guys the advantage at 2-1.
However, when the aforementioned 7th inning came along — everything changed.
All of a sudden, a JT Realmuto double and Sean Rodriguez hit-by-pitch led to a short Cesar Hernandez single — and, after some time consuming relief-pitch juggling by Tigers Manager Ron Gardenhire, Maikel Franco cleared the bases with a resounding double.
Andrew McCutchen then followed suit with a dribbled single up the middle, which plated Franco, and solidified the Phillies lead at 5-2.
Jordy Mercer bit back immediately in the 8th, however, and smacked a solo shot to left, narrowing Philadelphia’s lead — but, unbeknownst to Detroit, that was the final run the Tigers would plate throughout the rest of the night.
Rhys Hoskins then answered in his own way, and drove his 9th home run of the season into the left-field corner, and then, following Maikel Franco and Cesar Hernandez singles, Philly’s own Phil Gosselin drove another run in, providing the killing blow, and capping this one off at 7-3 Phillies.
Some notable lines:
Andrew McCutchen: 3-for-5, RBI, K
Cesar Hernandez: 3-for-4, 2 R, RBI
Maikel Franco: 2-for-4, 2B, R, 3 RBI
JT Realmuto: 2-for-4, 2B, 2 R, K
Jean Segura: 2-for-4, 2B
The Phils will look to maintain this momentum in their upcoming series with the Nationals, and I can say with confidence that there is not one single Philly fan on this planet that wouldn’t love to see an utter dismantling of those pesky Walgreens employees.