#2: The Offense: The Good and the Bad
As mentioned in the introduction, this series offered a variety in the offensive department. It was the basic microcosm of this team. As a fan, you go from thinking that they have it figured out and the hits just keep coming to being incredibly frustrated that they can’t seem to string two hits together from one day to the next.
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This series offered the three offensive scenarios that we see most often with this team. In game one, Nick Pivetta got the start and did what he has done lately. He gave up some hits and didn’t look sharp. Luckily, the offense had his back and then some. The bullpen came to play as well (more on that later).
The Phillies scored 17 runs on 18 hits. Five different players had multiple hits. Scott Kingery went 4-5 with an RBI and 3 runs scored. Seven of the runs were scored with two outs. This was the type of offensive game that you love to see and know that it is too good to be true.
Game two offered a different, but also positive, look at the 2018 Phillies and how they win games.
The Pirates sent Jameson Taillon (5-7, 4.05 ERA) to the mound, and he dominated the Phillies lineup for six innings. It looked as if it would be a day where the offense couldn’t get going.
Then, the Phillies got to Taillon and scored three runs in the seventh inning to take the lead for good. They are 19-7 in one-run games this season, the best mark in baseball. Seeing the lineup rally in the seventh and flex some muscle on a lesser team was very encouraging. It reminded you of the grit that this team has and that they just don’t seem to give up.
Which brings us to the final game of the series. Drew Anderson was called up from Triple-A Lehigh Valley to make the start on short notice, so the team knew that they may have to really have some good at-bats to keep the game competitive.
Anderson (5.0 IP, 4 ER, 4 K) pitched decently enough for his first MLB start, but the offense did not help him out. The Phils’ bats were stifled by rookie Nick Kingham. They couldn’t get solid contact, as Kingham got 17 of his 22 outs via groundballs or fly-outs. The Phillies went 0-8 with runners in scoring position. It was the final type of offensive game that the Phillies play: when it doesn’t look like they can buy a hit.
What this all says, in my opinion, is that a trade for a bat should continue to be considered.