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That was a coincidence, right? RIGHT?: Phillies 10, Angels 0

I don’t believe in them, but that was weird how well they played

MLB: Los Angeles Angels at Philadelphia Phillies Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

It had to be coincidental, right?

Firing their now former manager Joe Girardi, he who had been dogged lately with questions about his hold on the team and their lackadaisical play on the field, then coming out and cranking five home runs had to be a coincidence, right?

Whatever it was, we’re just glad it happened.

Never team to let someone overshadow their news of the day, “local boy” Mike Trout brought his Angels into Philadelphia and ran into an absolute buzzsaw. Los Angeles was struggling prior to this game and they never really had a prayer tonight.

It started with the first pitch of the game for the Phillies, having Kyle Schwarber take it and deposit it over the center field fence.

Putting 95 miles per hour right down the middle of the plate is not really a good idea and Schwarber made Angels pitcher Chase Silseth. In the third, Silseth was tagged again, this time by youngster Bryson Stott.

With the score 4-0, the Phillies let Zach Eflin go to work.

Eflin wasn’t overpowering at all; he just went about his business and made good pitches to get the Angels out. Nothing more, nothing less. There really isn’t any other way to put it. He was economical with his pitches, going eight strong, shutout innings, striking out six, walking one and scattering five hits that didn’t really amount to much.

As good as Eflin was, though, this night was about the bats. In the fifth inning, Bryce Harper got a little jealous of Schwarber and Stott, hitting an opposite field shot off of reliever Jamie Barria that made it 7-0.

After J.T. Realmuto was hit by a pitch with one out, Nick Maton came up and ripped a line drive to right field that was just short of Taylor Ward’s outstretched glove and went all the way to the wall for a triple that made the score 8-0. Tacking on two more in the seventh, the Phillies did so by getting home runs from (you guessed it) Schwarber and Harper, their second of the game each that gave them a comfortable 10-0 lead.

The only bad part of the night was the injury to Maton that caused him to have to leave the game with a shoulder sprain (the stated diagnosis at the time). After making an incredible play to rob Trout of a hit, Maton came up holding his arm and had to be substituted with Johan Camargo. Hopefully, he just needs a day or two and he’ll come right back.

As stated before, with Eflin cruising right along, the game was never really in doubt. It’s the perfect way to begin the Rob Thomson era, one where the offense comes alive and destroys replacement level pitching while starters quietly go about their business. If this is a portend of things to come, we’re in for a fun ride.