The Philadelphia Phillies are set for their fourth series of the season. After a tough start to the week, they look to get back on track against a Washington Nationals team in search of revenge. Meanwhile, the Phils are looking to simply get back on the horse and find some consistency in the new season.
The Phillies were swept out at home to end their first homestand of 2017. The New York Met bats exploded to the tune of 23 runs over three nights. Phillies pitching, outside of Jerad Eickhoff seemingly had no answer for the offensive onslaught. Before the series, I chose Jacob deGrom and Jay Bruce.
At the start of the game on Monday night, it felt as if the Phillies may beat my choice for roadblock starter. They jumped out early on deGrom forcing an uncharacteristically high pitch count in the first inning. The Phils had the bases loaded and had plated two runs with one out when Brock
Stassi bounced into a 1-2-3 inning ending double play. Two in the first off deGrom is a tremendous start, but when a team has a pitcher of that caliber in that situation, there needs to be the knockout punch. Since the Phillies failed to deliver it, the 28 year old settled in and saw almost no trouble the rest of the way. He retired the last eight batters he faced, and kept his team in the game without his best stuff and lacking his usual control the entire night.
Phils Grade: C-
Jay Bruce single-handedly won the Mets game one of this series. The Phillies missed spots to him on two separate occasions and he was able to make them pay. With the Phils leading 2-0 early on, Eickhoff hung a curveball and Bruce drilled it into the right field seats. Following some extra-curricular fireworks, with the scored tied at two, Bruce sent a message to the Phils when he took a Joely Rodriguez slider into orbit. He ended Monday night 2-3 with two homers, a walk and 3 RBI. He would add two more hits over the course of the next two nights and contribute two more runs batted in to the mix. While Yoenis Cespedes put on the show Tuesday night and Michael Conforto took the reigns on Wednesday night, it was Bruce’s heroics that laid the foundation for the series.
Phils Grade: D+