I know the Phillies are going to inevitably lose another game at some point. But the way the offense has been crushing the ball, I’m not entirely sure it's going to happen any time soon.
The Phillies’ lineup had another big night on Friday. Led by Rhys Hoskins’ two home runs, they struck early, and tacked on an important insurance run late. Kyle Gibson had a quality start, and the bullpen - despite some difficulties in the seventh - was able to close it out. The result was a 7-5 win over the Diamondbacks that marked their eighth in a row.
The winning streak has had a variety of heroes, but for the most part, Rhys Hoskins hasn’t been prominently featured. That changed in the first inning on Friday.
On the other hand, Kyle Schwarber has been red hot since the month of June began, and that didn’t change on Friday.
By the end of the fifth inning, the Phillies were leading 6-0, and starting pitcher Kyle Gibson had only allowed one hit. However, Gibson struggled a bit in the sixth, and then allowed the first two runners in the seventh to get on base.
That’s when manager Rob Thomson made the first real mistake of his young managerial career. Despite having Seranthony Dominguez available, Thomson called upon Brad Hand. Hand has notably been good when starting an inning and bad when dealing with inherited runners. That unfortunate trend continued on Friday as Hand allowed the two inherited runners to score, and then two more runs for good measure.
Thomson then called upon Dominguez. With a big assist from umpire Edwin Moscoso, Dominguez was able to escape by catching Christian Walker looking on a strike three that was several inches off the plate.
After Renfroe almost goes deep, Seranthony gets a little help for a strikeout on the outside corner pic.twitter.com/g3BHcY7v7w— Brodes Media (@BrodesMedia) April 23, 2022
The Phillies’ lead felt more tenuous than it had an inning earlier, but thanks to a clean eighth inning by Conor Brogdon and Rhys Hoskins’ second home run of the night, the cushion was restored to two runs entering the ninth inning.
Corey Knebel has had his share of shaky moments lately, but he was able to close things out without incident. He allowed one hit, but his curveball looked as good as it has all season.
Can the Phillies make it nine in a row on Saturday afternoon? Zack Wheeler will get the ball for the Phillies, and that alone gives them a good chance at victory. But as long as the offense keeps bashing multiple home runs every game, it might not matter who the Phillies have on the mound.