It’s possible that the Phillies’ offense was bound to get hot at some point, and it is merely coincidental that it happened as soon as former hitting coach John Mallee was fired. But where’s the fun in saying that? It’s much more exciting to credit the resurgence to the switch from Mallee to Charlie Manuel. Either way, the Phillies continued to hit well, and topped the Padres by a score of 8-4 on Friday night.
Bryce Harper has hogged the headlines recently (that’s what tends to happen when you hit a majestic game-winning grand slam), and sure enough, he had another big blast on Friday.
But he hasn’t even been the best player on the team lately. That title goes to catcher J.T. Realmuto, who has shown exactly why the Phillies were so eager to trade for him.
The Phillies jumped all over Padres starter Chris Paddack, and after five innings, they led 5-0. Starting pitcher Vince Velasquez was once again shutting out the Padres (that’s kind of his thing) although he had racked up a high pitch count (That’s unfortunately also kind of his thing).
Despite that pitch count, Gabe Kapler allowed Velasquez to start the sixth, but he was unable to finish it. After allowing two runs on a wild pitch and a triple, Velasquez’s night was over, and Blake Parker was called upon to escape the jam. He allowed an RBI ground out, but that was it.
The final three innings were capably handled by a Phillies bullpen that has been much less cringe-inducing since the arrival of some mid-season pickups.
Once again, I’ll point out;— Alex Carr (@AlexCarrMLB) August 15, 2019
Matt Klentak has now acquired FOUR well poised, inexpensive relievers with control thru the 2020 season in:
The Free Agent roster of 2020 features a remarkably light reliever class.
All solid moves.
The win may not have come without a cost. After a shaky start to the season, oft-injured outfielder Roman Quinn has excelled lately. He has an 1.002 OPS over the last month, and contributed a home run and outfield assist on Friday.
But there’s a reason why Quinn is described as oft-injured. He injured his groin, and was removed from the game. According to Kapler, he was removed as a precaution, but it would shock no one if he made another trip to the Injured List.
.@gabekapler- Quinn has groin tightness. Took him out as precaution.— Michael Barkann (@MBarkannNBCS) August 17, 2019
The Phillies have now matched their season high of four wins in a row. Zach Eflin will get the start for the Phillies on Saturday, and considering he’s been pitching out of the bullpen lately, it’s tough to expect much out of him. But if the post-Mallee lineup can keep hitting as well as it has been, it might not even matter.