Mookie Betts Left the Infield One Time in Four games
In the season series, Mookie Betts, with an OPS of 1.108, an offensive WAR of 8.2, 27 HR, 60 RBI, and fourth in baseball in total bases with 266 in just 102 games played, went 2 for 10 with one walk and one RBI.
What is perhaps even more impressive is that only one of his two hits left the infield. Stalwart pitching that kept one of the league’s most productive hitters quiet proves that the Phillies have both a clear game plan and an ability to execute against anyone who did not previously for the team (see Galvis, Freddy).
Sure, Betts did not start two of the games, but he appeared in all four. Nonetheless, the pitchers’ collective ability to keep him at bay was quite impressive.
The Bench and Bullpen Came to Play on Wednesday
In my previous post, I suggested that manager Gabe Kapler not be shy when it comes to using his bench and bullpen. Well, last night, he certainly was not. Pulling starter Vince Velasquez after just 2.1 innings, Kapler used seven members of his bullpen to get the win on Wednesday.
The presence of the bench was very evident last night. Kapler pinch hit four times in hope for some offense last night, and he got it twice. Carlos Santana’s pinch hit single in the fourth tied the game, and Scott Kingery’s critical pinch-hit sacrifice fly in the sixth gave Philadelphia the lead.
With the trade deadline additions to the team, the Phillies have more reliable options available to them at all points in the game. Not only did Justin Bour go 2-5 with a walk last night, but it presented the opportunity to pinch-hit Carlos Santana, who is much more reliable than, say, Dylan Cozens. No Asdrubal Cabrera? Scott Kingery doesn’t make that pinch-hit appearance.
Kapler used 20 of the 21 players available (not counting the four starters) on Wednesday night, saving Jorge Alfaro for the doubleheader on Thursday. It was one of the biggest wins of the year, and hopefully one that will spark this team down the stretch.