Jay Bruce has been on the Phillies for all of 2 days. In his first start, he loudly announced his presence in the National League with 3 extra base hits; a double, a two-run homer, and a grand slam.
According to Paul Casella (@paul_casella), Bruce is the first player since Ryan Howard in 2011 to have 2 home runs and 6 RBI in a game. The last time a Phillies player did that on the road was Jim Thome on June 8, 2004.
That’s right folks. You can go ahead and compare Bruce to the 2 greatest Phillies first basemen of all time.
To some, the performance would be surprising. Going into the night, Bruce had a .214 BA with 53 K in 48 games. But if you look closely, you can see Bruce has been heating up over the past few weeks.
Firstly, Bruce has maintained a slugging percentage over .500 for a majority of the games this season. There have been only 10 games where Bruce wasn’t at that mark. On May 6, Bruce’s BA bottomed out at .176. In his 18 games after that, he slashed .283/.343/.550, raising his average 38 points.
After going 3-4 on Tuesday night, Bruce is now batting .227, his highest mark since opening day (.250).
Bruce’s banner night fueled the Phillies to a 9-6 win over the Padres, breaking their season high 5-game losing streak. The Phillies found success against the tough rookie Chris Paddack. Paddack came into the night with a 2.40 ERA in 10 games started with a 9.9 K/9.
JT Realmuto also had a 3-hit night, scoring 2 runs. Scott Kingery went 2-4 with a double and a home run. Bryce Harper went 2-5. Adam Haseley went 0-4 in his debut, although he was robbed of his first hit by Eric Hosmer in the 8th inning.
The win keeps the Phillies 1/2 a game ahead of the Atlanta Braves in the division.
Alec Kostival graduated from La Salle University with a degree in communication with a focus in mass media and journalism. He covered high school sports for the Chestnut Hill Local. He has interned with the Reading Fightin Phils and the Philadelphia Eagles.