I’d like to thank John Stolnis for summing up the past few days so that I don’t have to.
The last week in Phillies-land:— John Stolnis (@JohnStolnis) June 4, 2019
1. Herrera arrested & suspended
2. 5 game losing streak
3. McCutchen injured
4. Nola blown up
5. Bruce trade
6. Adam Haseley promoted
7. Offense disappears
Anything I'm missing?
To add:— John Stolnis (@JohnStolnis) June 4, 2019
8. Nick Pivetta's great game
9. Zach Eflin injury
10. Adam Morgan injury
11. Pat Neshek injury
I’m exhausted just embedding all that, but it gives you the context of how these Phillies were doing entering the series finale in San Diego this afternoon. A lot of people have been talking about just who this team is, what they’re identity may be, and what we should expect from them, and the answer is: This team was designed to be a durable threat. But durability is like chemistry; it’s not an asset you can plan for, you just have to celebrate when it happens. It’s not happening to the Phillies. So what you should expect is a lot of up and down movements, which will be fortunately conducted from, for the moment, first place.
Needing a series win after a sweep at the hands of the Dodgers, one could say it was unsettling how evenly matched the Phillies looked with a Padres team hovering around .500. Jake Arrieta got the start and did his thing, giving them a few solid innings before leaving meatballs up on 0-2 counts and letting San Diego hammer him for four runs in the third with a pair of bombs. The Phillies had Jay Bruce and Scott Kingery smack consecutive doubles in the second, giving them an early 1-0 lead, but the Padres were swift to overcome that and set an unpromising tone.
But Bruce wasn’t done, and for now, seems like he never will be. He is 6-for-11 with three home runs with the Phillies thus far, adding the third today to cut the deficit to 4-2. With two outs in the fifth, Arrieta almost authored a Padres rally all by himself, walking Wil Myers with two outs before watching him steal second base, allowing a single to Ty France that scored Myers, chucking a wild pitch at the backstop, walking Austin Allen, and finally being relieved by Vince Velasquez, who got the inning’s final out.
That meant the Phillies had some frames to fill with bullpen arms. The offense had to bail them out, and fortunately, it kept coming—and not just Bruce. Adam Haseley is here, and he walked in the seventh, scoring on a Cesar Hernandez triple. Bryce Harper doubled him in, and Jean Segura singled in Harper, tying the game at 5-5.
It was the new kid Haseley who played the hero in the eighth, cracking a double off the third baseman to score the lead-taking run and make it 6-5. The circumstances dictated the importance of an insurance run, and it came in the form of an unlikely Andrew Knapp single that scored Haseley. With a 7-5 lead, the Phillies bullpen deployed Seranthony Dominguez, who left with an injury after allowing a pair of one-out base runners. Hector Neris came in, issued a walking of his own, and the struck out Ian Desmond. With the bases loaded, Manny Machado came to the plate, check swung at a pitch Neris seemed pretty sure he swung at (he didn’t), causing Machado to chuckle confidently before Jean Segura tracked down his pop fly into no man’s land before it could Texas League itself into trouble. Machado wasn’t chuckling after that.
Having escaped with their lives, the Phillies did nothing with their half of the ninth, and trusted Neris to get the save, which he did with shockingly little drama. The Phillies left Petco Park with a series win.
Dominguez was reported to be having some health issues after the game today but didn’t talk to reporters, which leaves the Phillies bullpen with, by my count, Hector Neris, J.D. Hammer, and a lot of empty folding chairs. When tendons and muscles and biceps and hamstrings are unraveling this quickly—from the lineup the Phillies lost Andrew McCutchen for the season, right after acquiring Jay Bruce—you just have to play it one game at a time. Today, the Phillies did that, and won a series. On to the next one.