There was a whole lot to like on Saturday if you’re a Phillies fan: Bryce Harper had a big day at the plate, Aaron Nola delivered a solid start, and Hector Neris closed things out with a two-inning save. The end result was that the Phillies won a second consecutive one-run game against the Colorado Rockies.
A day after he had a key two-RBI double, Bryce Harper got the Phillies off to a good start with a mammoth first inning home run.
For the day, Harper was 2-3 to go along with a walk, and it seems very possible that he’s starting to heat up.
The Phillies’ second run came courtesy of the Rockies’ defense since Jean Segura advanced to third base on an error by left fielder Raimel Tapia, and then scored on a wild pitch by Rockies’ starter Antonio Senzatela.
Unfortunately, that was all the Phillies could manage against the Rockies’ pitchers. In 2018, two runs was usually enough run support for Aaron Nola, but in 2019, he hasn’t been nearly as dominant. Fortunately, the Nola we saw on Saturday looked liked last year’s version. He struck out 12 batters (tying his career high) in six innings before being pulled following Tony Wolter’s leadoff triple in the seventh.
Adam Morgan and Seranthony Dominguez escaped the jam in the seventh, and then Hector Neris was called upon in the eighth. Much like he did on Friday, Neris pitched efficiently, requiring only eleven pitches to retire the side. He was so efficient that he came back out for the ninth, and only needed ten pitches to finish things off. I’m not sure where this super-efficient version of Neris came from, but it’s been a very welcome development.
Fans were understandably nervous about the Phillies’ chances after the series against the Brewers, but these last two days have gone a long way towards erasing that feeling of angst. If Harper can stay hot and lead the Phillies to a series sweep on Sunday, there should be plenty of optimistic feelings about the team.