When the lineup for Thursday’s game was announced, there was some consternation because two of the Phillies’ hottest hitters - Andrew McCutchen and Rhys Hoskins - were not in it. As it turned out, they didn’t need those guys. Heck, they didn’t really need anyone besides Brad Miller. Miller hit three home runs, powering the Phillies to an 8-0 win over the Chicago Cubs.
The Phillies got their first run in an unconventional fashion when they pulled off a double steal. But after that, all their runs came via the home run, the vast majority of them off the bat of Miller.
First came a solo shot in the third:
Bam-BOOM!— Philadelphia Phillies (@Phillies) July 9, 2021
Brad gets the start and makes the most of it.#RingTheBell pic.twitter.com/n6cTSmnlmU
He then sent a two-run shot into the right field stands in the fifth:
He's a Braaaaaaaad man!!— Philadelphia Phillies (@Phillies) July 9, 2021
Brad Miller's SECOND homer of the night. #RingTheBell pic.twitter.com/qmfYBNZQvl
The homer barrage concluded with another two-run shot in the seventh:
Big-time Brad hits his THIRD homer of the night. #RingTheBell pic.twitter.com/GcIuD5d1yf— Philadelphia Phillies (@Phillies) July 9, 2021
How did Miller celebrate the first three home run game by a Phillie since Jayson Werth in 2008? By wearing lots of hats!
Homer-hat snake > beer snake.#RingTheBell pic.twitter.com/FIpp9nszfs— Philadelphia Phillies (@Phillies) July 9, 2021
Didi Gregorius also hit a two-run home run, part of a three-hit night for the previously struggling shortstop.
That was plenty of run support for Zach Eflin who gave the team six shutout innings. The first inning was a bit shaky, when he needed 27 pitches to get three outs. But he settled in after that, giving up just three hits the rest of the way, and the final three innings were handled with little difficulty by the bullpen.
The Cubs are certainly struggling right now, but I’m not going to turn my nose up at a series win on the road. The schedule gets tougher this weekend as the Phillies will travel to Boston to face the first place Red Sox for three games. While it’s expected that McCutchen and Hoskins will be back in the lineup for Friday’s game, you’d have to think that after hitting three home runs in one game, Miller earned another start as well.