A friendly meeting between two division “rivals” turned into something more this Saturday afternoon. It became an ugly, one-sided butt kicking that this offense was sorely in need of. It also became a showcase for the offseason’s biggest acquisition to show why he was worth all the money.
Look at that beautiful, beautiful boxscore, baby.
11 runs, 10 hits. More walks than strikeouts. There was even the always rare Jay Bruce stolen base. It is truly something to behold.
What’s that? Six RBI from local hair legend Bryce Harper? Why thank you very much.
Things were pretty quiet through the first four innings. A stray run from the Phillies, courtest of an Adam Haseley single, a beautifully executed sacrifice bunt from Zack Wheeler and a wild pitch from Jordan Yamamoto gave the Phillies the lead. It wasn’t until the fifth when the fireworks started. Scott Kingery led off with a solo shot, stretching the lead to 2-0. Then after two groundball outs, Jean Segura and Didi Gregorius got on for Mr. Harper himself. When Yamamoto tried to sneak a 91 m.p.h. fastball past him, boom.
It remained that way until the bottom of the seventh when a single and a walk by Segura and Gregorius gave the Phillies two men on and nobody out. The next two hitters promptly grounded out, but Segura scored and made it 6-0. Jay Bruce then walked, putting men on the corners. With Rhys Hoskins batting, a wild pitch scored Gregorius and sent Bruce to second, who then scored on a single by Hoskins, making it 8-0. In the bottom of the 8th, Harper struck again, this time with another three-run shot, making it 11-0.
The other story here was Wheeler. He was brilliant through 8 1⁄3 innings, only yielding in the ninth when he hit his 100th pitch and forced the manager to yank him for Nick Pivetta, who finished things off. It was his best start of the season and, perhaps, a harbinger of things to come.
This is what happens when the big guns come to play. Harper himself was quoted after the game saying,
“If I do my job, we’ve usually got a good chance to win the game.”
Truer words were never spoken. With the Phillies now back at .500, they will look for the series sweep tomorrow afternoon.