After losing the first four games they played against the last place Arizona Diamondbacks this season, and then needing a wild comeback effort to finally beat them on Friday, it was nice that the Phillies took care of business on Saturday. The bats produced, the pitching was superb, and even the defense was solid in a 7-0 victory.
The Phillies haven’t been all that good lately about getting off to early leads, but they jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning. It shouldn’t be surprising that Bryce Harper (sacrifice fly) was involved in the scoring, but it was somewhat of a surprise that Didi Gregorius was as well. Didi was 3-4 on the night with two RBIs, and considering the Phillies are forced to put him near the middle of the order, it would be great if he started hitting like a middle of the order bat should hit.
The Phillies weren’t content to sit on that lead as they used back-to-back home runs in the third to extend the lead to 4-0.
They tacked on three more runs in the eighth, but considering the quality of pitching they received, those runs weren’t needed. Kyle (not Paul) Gibson continued to pitch well since coming over in a midseason trade. With his defense actually making plays behind him, he recorded a lot of ground ball outs in his six shutout innings.
Three relievers combined to preserve the shutout. It was an especially strong outing for Jose Alvarado, who looked like an actual pitcher rather than someone who just throws the ball as hard as he can - which is admittedly, really hard - with no idea where it’s going.
The Phillies now have a chance to win the series on Sunday, which is something they really should be able to do when facing an opponent like the Diamondbacks. Will they actually do so? We’ll see.