Before the season, the Phillies were favourites to have the worst record in the entire MLB. Four games in they stand at a .500 record with both wins containing single huge innings propel them to victory. Two victories against teams who are expected to flourish this October.
A gruelling 10 game stretch began last night against some extremely intimidating starting pitchers. However, the Phils were victorious, beating the Washington Nationals, 4-1, at Citizens Bank Park.
Francouer’s three run homer somewhat masked the fatal flaws that the Phillies had suffered at the plate during the game in Boston. Pitchers as dominant as those who play for the Nationals were always going to emphasise them. Perhaps they didn’t expect the Phils to be so patient, outlasting the aggressive Gio Gonzalez to come back from 0-1 to 4-2 in a short space of time.
After a late pitching change Cesar Hernandez saw red as he sent the first pitch he saw over Ryan Zimmerman’s head to bring home to single runs and send the Phillies ahead for good.
Freddy Galvis brought in the following run home, ending a perfect 3 for 3 on the night. Over the last two games, Galvis is currently 5 for 9 with a double and a single RBI. That’s about as big as it gets for the Phillies though as Galvis tops the Phillies hitting charts and the only one with more than three hits.
Williams started the game as he finished his last. He allowed a leadoff home run to Michael Taylor and singles to Bryce Harper and Wilson Ramos in the first inning. It wasn’t looking promising for the Phills as their poor form against Boston looked to continue. But in a swift turn of events, Williams became the backbone of the team, keeping them within touching distance the entire evening. He retired 15 of the following 18 batsmen.
After some bullpen sessions he seemed a lot more composed and in the zone. Williams gave way to a bullpen that pitched three innings without allowing a score. Luis Garcia, Ken Giles and the controversial Jonathan Papelbon needed just 38 pitches combined to get through the last three innings. Once a rhythm was implemented, there was no stopping the pitching flow.
Cole Hamels goes toe to toe with Doug Fister on Saturday night as the challenging series continues. Can the Phillies keep a run going and maybe even move into a positive win ratio?