There may not be much talk about the Phillies on real-life sports stations recently, but believe me, the talking heads in our digital world are chatting it up about what’s gone down this week in South Philly.
Before we dive into it, I want to address one request that has come our way relatively frequently – broadcasting simmed games online for your viewing pleasure. I’m happy to announce that we will be broadcasting our first game on Twitch this coming weekend. On Sunday, March 29th at 7 PM Eastern we’ll go live on TheGoodPhightTV (linked HERE). It looks like Aaron Nola will get the start that night as the Phillies return to Citizen’s Bank Park to host the Marlins. The intent is to stream once per week (more than likely on weekends) as long as people are logging on to watch and enjoying the simulations.
Now, back to business.
There were several comments in the past few articles about potential trade packages and while none have garnered enough support to be done outright, I get the sense that the general feeling is in support of bringing in a reliable closer and building the bullpen. With that in mind, we’ve made the following trade:
Astros get: CP Hector Neris, RF Jay Bruce, SS Bryson Stott
Phillies get: CP Roberto Osuna, RP Brad Peacock
Following this trade we moved VV to AAA (he still has yet to clear mandatory waivers in the move) and brought up Alec Bohm to the 40-man roster. We also had a trade offer from Pittsburgh which brings us RP Michael Feliz in exchange for LF Nick Williams, who was already on the trading block along with Bruce. With that move trade our block is clear for the time being.
These trades paid off very quickly, as you can see below.
4/2/2020: Phillies 10, Brewers 7, W: Robert Stock (1-0), L: Freddy Peralta (0-1), S: Osuna (3)
The Phils are back to .500 on the strength of an 8-run 2nd inning that the bullpen was able to hold on to. Gregorius (1) and Hoskins (3) both went yard in the inning and Arrieta helped his own cause by going 2-3 with an RBI and a run scored on the afternoon. Kingery tallied 3 RBIs in a 3-4 day at the plate and saw his early-season average break over the .400 mark. Stock relieved Arrieta in the 5th (Arrieta gave up 7 earned on 10 hits in 4.1 innings, his ERA sits at 12.96) and was helped along by Morgan and Alvarez to set up Osuna for his third save on the year, sending fans home happy after the home opener.
4/4/2020: Phillies 4, Brewers 3, W: Brad Peacock (1-0), L: Corey Knebel (0-1)
After a day off on Friday the Phillies picked right back up where they left off, making a late-inning push to come back from a 3-0 deficit and walking the Brewers off in the bottom of the 9th. Eflin left the game early after giving up 3 runs on 8 hits in 4 innings. Those trades seem to have sparked new life in the bullpen as Stock, Morgan, Arano, and Peacock combined to give up a single hit in the last 5 innings of the game. Harper doubled in a run in the 5th while Didi and Realmuto each picked up RBIs in the 7th to tie the game. Jean Segura (1) parked the first pitch he saw in the bottom of the ninth into the flowerbed in left field as the Phillies stay in the win column.
4/5/2020: Brewers 14, Phillies 3, W: Eric Lauer (2-0), L: Spencer Howard (0-1)
Spencer Howard got knocked around quite a bit in his first start at CBP. He lasted just 2.1 innings, giving up 7 runs (all earned) on 6 hits. A Roman Quinn home run (1) was the only real spark for the Phillies’ offense all evening as Yelich and the Brew Crew lit up the scoreboard with 16 hits.
4/6/2020: Blue Jays 6, Phillies 2, W: Hyun-Jin Ryu (2-0), L: Aaron Nola (1-1)
The Phillies jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning with RBI singles from Harper and Gregorius, but the bats fell silent for the rest of the game as the Phillies dip back below .500 on the young season. Aaron Nola lasted 5.1 innings and gave up 4 earned before handing the ball over to the bullpen (which again had a relatively strong day, allowing just 1 earned run 3 hits and 2 walks in 3.2 innings). All of Nola’s runs were earned but the defense didn’t help him with 3 early errors that allowed the Jays to put some pressure on our pitching.
4/7/2020: Phillies 5, Blue Jays 4, W: Brad Peacock (2-0), L: Anthony Bass (0-1), S: Osuna (4)
It wasn’t pretty, but a win is a win. Wheeler left the game in the 7th with the bases loaded and a 3-0 lead, but Morgan allowed all three runners to cross the plate before he was able to stop the bleeding. Peacock surrendered an additional run in the 8th but a 2-run home run from Didi (2) in the bottom of the inning got him out of hot water and on the line for the W. Osuna took the hill and racked up his 4th save, striking out the side in order to end the game as the Jays went down quietly.
With a quick glance at the standings above, we’re only a game back of the Nats heading into the upcoming roadtrip.
We’ve had some readers asking for more regular stat updates, so we are going to start throwing them in to every other article to satisfy the statheads among us as we move forward in this series. As the season develops we’ll also include looks around the league and periodical updates on how the farm system is doing (both Lehigh Valley and Reading kick off their seasons in the next week).
With that we’ll wrap up this installment and begin putting the next one together. This coming week the Phillies have back-to-back 4-game sets at Cincinnati (8-3) and Milwaukee (7-4) before returning home to host the Fish.
Keep the suggestions coming, keep your hands clean, and keep your hopes high!