With all that’s gone wrong for the Phillies in 2013, it’s sometimes easy to forget the few things that have gone right.
Domonic Brown is one of those things that has turned out better than expected so far this season. Last night, he hit his 20th homer of the season and drove in four as the Phillies beat the Padres in San Diego 6-2.
Brown had gone 14 games and 56 at-bats without a homer before last night, and went into Tuesday night’s game against the Padres hitting .192/.259/.250 with an OPS of .509 in those 14 games, with just 3 doubles and 3 RBIs. And according to the Elias Sports Bureau, Brown became the youngest Phillie in team history to hit 20 homers before the end of June.
It’s all apart of that whole “offense” thing that everybody has been saying is good for winning baseball contests.
Br0wn admitted after the game that it had been a while since he last hit one out, and it could not have come at a more opportune time. Monday night’s crushing defeat could have sent the team reeling even more than they have been. However, Brown’s blast, along with yet another solid performance from Kyle Kendrick, who pitched eight innings and gave up just two runs on seven hits in upping his record to 7-4 for the year with an ERA of 3.46, gave the team a much needed boost.
The Phillies received some bad news before the game when it was revealed Mike Adams would be out for the season after an MRI revealed three separate tears in his pitching shoulder. And with Jonathan Papelbon getting the night off last night, it was up to Antonio Bastardo to close things out. Which he did, although he needed 30 pitches to do it.
Amaro said before the game the Phillies would not likely make any moves to acquire more bullpen help at the moment, so they will have to rely on Bastardo to pitch a lot of eighth innings for the foreseeable future.
It’s amazing what can happen when you score runs and your pitcher doesn’t allow the other team to score as many. Seems to me a lot of wins happen that way.
On Wednesday night, Cole Hamels will look to earn a series win for the Phils as he tries to resurrect a season that is careening towards 20 losses. And San Diego, his home town, may be the perfect place for him, with a career 8-2 record and a 2.15 ERA in 13 career starts at Petco Field.
Where It All Went Right
When Brown crushed his three-run homer in the third inning, giving the Phils a 3-2 lead. Everyone knew Brown’s red-hot May couldn’t be sustained, but his two-week slump really came at a bad time. Thankfully, his power stroke returned, if only for one night.
Brown, who will have to continue to be the Phils’ main power source if this offense is going to succeed.
Bastardo, who tried to give everybody a heart attack with a Nik Wallenda-esque tightrope act in the ninth. Bastardo’s going to have to learn how to get through an inning without throwing more than 30 pitches at some point.