I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself, but uh… this team is pretty good.
With a few individual exceptions (that YOU can vote to fix) we are off to a great start to the 2020 campaign, leading the N.L. East and getting set to head back home.
Game summaries are below, but first, be sure to join our next Twitch broadcast! It will be Sunday, April 5th at 7 PM Eastern as Spencer Howard gets the start against the second-place Braves from CBP. Is it baseball? No, not really. Is it fun? Yeah, it kind of is. Do you have anywhere better to be?
A good showing from Nola and a strong collective effort from the bullpen was enough to keep the Phillies in the game against a solid pitching performance from the Cubs. Rhys Hoskins (6) started the scoring with a solo shot in the second inning and Didi followed with an RBI double in the fourth, setting up a 2-2 game going into the ninth inning. The hero was Neil Walker, whose 2-run single in the top of the final frame gave the Phillies the edge in the series opener.
4/25/2020: Cubs 4, Phillies 2; W: Jeremy Jeffress (2-0), L: Seranthony Dominguez (0-2)
This one was frustrating. Darvish and Wheeler looked to be setting up for a pitcher’s duel until Willson Contreras broke open the scoring with a 2-run home run in the home half of the 4th inning. The Phillies struck back as Kingery drove in Didi in the 7th, finally chasing a dominating Darvish. Kyle Ryan promptly ruined Darvish’s outing in just 13 pitches, surrendering a game-tying double to Adam Haseley and leaving the bases loaded before getting McCutchen to ground into an inning-ending double play. Seranthony “how do you still work here” Dominguez, entering in a tie game, let the game slip away by giving up 3 hits and a walk without recording an out. The Phillies left runners in scoring position in the 8th and 9th but couldn’t spark a late-inning rally as the Cubs escaped to tie the series at one game a piece. Rubber match coming up!
4/26/2020: Cubs 6, Phillies 3; W: Jose Quintana (2-3), L: Jake Arrieta (2-2)
Hoskins homered (7) and McCutchen drove in the only other runs as the Phillies couldn’t dig themselves out of a hole. It got late early for the Phils as Contreras and Rizzo each went yard as the bullpen faltered, allowing 3 runs in 2/3 of an inning. The Phillies drop their first series since the beginning of the month.
4/27/2020: Phillies 1, Giants 0; W: Zach Eflin (2-1), L: Drew Smyly (1-4), S: Osuna (10)
Eflin had a great day on the mound, lasting 7 strong innings and allowing only 3 hits before entrusting the bullpen with a 1-0 lead that came on the strength of a Jean Segura RBI single. Drew Smyly, who has struggled on the season, pitched well but had absolutely no run support from a struggling Giants offense as the Phillies escaped with the win. Osuna stayed hot with his 10th save on the season.
4/28/2020: Phillies 7, Giants 1; W: Spencer Howard (3-1), L: Kevin Gausman (1-4)
This is one of those days where everything goes right for the good guys. The Phils knocked around Giants pitching for 18 hits with another Hoskins home run (8). Cutch ended the day just a long-ball short of hitting for the cycle. Even the youngster Jordan Howard – who went 8 scoreless innings – joined in on the hit parade, going 2-4 with an RBI to propel the Phils. Going for the Sweep!
4/29/2020: Phillies 8, Giants 1; W: Aaron Nola (2-1), L: Johnny Cueto (3-2)
The ball was flying off the bat in this one – for us, at least. Harper doubled and homered (6) into McCovey Cove and (checks notes) uh, Aaron Nola apparently went 3-4 with 3 RBIs and is now batting .466 on the year, all while pitching 8 innings of 1-run baseball. Hey, I don’t make the stats, I just report them.
Let’s take a first look at some of our top minor-league performers:
AAA: RP Blake Parker posted a 1.93 ERA for the month of April, RF Danny Mayer is batting .308 through his first 39 at-bats, and the Iron Pigs are 2 games back of the I.L. North lead at 14-10.
AA: 3B Jose Gomez is batting .299 through 67 at-bats, RP Jeff Singer has struck out 19 in 15.2 innings on the way to a 0.57 ERA, but the Fightins sit in the cellar of the E.L. Eastern at 9-14.
Join us on Twitch, keep making your adjustments in the comments section, and as always, stay safe and healthy.