The Phillies off-season acquisitions over the past few years have largely been guys you have to talk yourself into; hole-pluggers, spot-fillers, and warm bodies to help drag the team through the summer. But one of the easiest ways to distinguish this team from those twisted experiments is that it’s tough to pinpoint which of the Phillies’ new guys has been the best. Jean Segura is a hit machine, Bryce Harper has caused ripple effects up and down the lineup, J.T. Realmuto keeps hitting baseballs further and further, and Andrew McCutchen is a delightful offensive asset.
It was Cutch who led things off with a solo shot against the Brewers and Jhouly Chacin on Saturday, stirring hope that the Phillies could put this one to bed early and take the series against a team that had brutalized them just a week prior. The Phillies dropped a run on Milewaukee in four of the first five innings—After Cutch’s bomb, Segura had a bases-loaded walk and Cesar Hernandez basehd a home run and an RBI single to build a 4-0 lead. The Brewers halved the deficit to 4-2 with a Mike Moustakas home run and some scuffling in the eighth, but the Rhys Hoskins and Realmuto went back-to-back in the ninth to pad the lead to 7-2.
In probably the best news of the day, Jake Arrieta gave the Phillies the long start they needed as well, going eight innings and striking out eight. He allowed five hits, a walk, and two earned runs before Jose Alvarez came in for a clean ninth. Before Moustakas’ home run, he had set down 16 straight batters. The bullpen got a much-needed rest day, and the Phillies got a good-looking that gives them the chance to sweep on Sunday afternoon.