With no big name additions coming at the trade deadline, Phillies general manager Matt Klentak basically said that if the team was going to make the playoffs, it would be up to the players already on hand. On Thursday afternoon, those players made their general manager look good for one day at least, as the Phillies pounded Giants pitching en route to a 10-2 win.
J.T. Realmuto was the biggest star on the day as his first three at bats resulted in a single, double, and a three-run home run.
Just Taters#RingTheBell pic.twitter.com/UnRZazDmOV— Philadelphia Phillies (@Phillies) August 1, 2019
He had two more chances to complete the cycle, but was unable to get the necessary triple. It didn’t matter, because he wasn’t the only Phillie hitter to have a big afternoon. Cesar Hernandez had three RBIs, Scott Kingery had three hits, and Roman Quinn added a solo home run.
Oppo #RingTheBell pic.twitter.com/hYCkiR5yFQ— Philadelphia Phillies (@Phillies) August 1, 2019
All of that offense should have allowed starting pitcher Jake Arrieta to pick up an easy victory. But after holding the Giants scoreless through four innings, Arrieta ran into trouble in the fifth. The first three batters of the inning reached base, and Arrieta was lifted before he could record an out.
With the recent additions to the Phillies’ starting pitcher corps, it’s worth wondering if Arrieta should be shut down for the season. If the manager doesn’t feel comfortable with him pitching out of trouble with an eight-run lead in the fifth inning, he probably shouldn’t be part of the rotation.
Fortunately, the bullpen was able to cover the final five innings without too much trouble, and in an especially rare occasion, they didn’t allow a single home run!
This game might end up being an abberation, and we might be left to wonder why the GM wasn’t more aggressive in improving the team. But if Realmuto and the rest of the team can continue to play like they did on Thursday, they just may end up rewarding their GM’s lack of action.