The Phillies finally got it together and took a series from a team that they are supposed to beat. It had been a few series of losing to sub .500 teams. For more on this, check out Alec Kostival’s recap. In doing so, Gabe Kapler finally found his lineup and hopefully can quit the tinkering.
For a couple of weeks now, fans and writers alike have been saying that Corey Dickerson should be leading off. Kapler kept putting Rhys Hoskins at the leadoff spot. Well, last night the line-up looked like a major league lineup and not a Kapler tinker project. The Phillies responded with 17 hits,11 runs, and every position player had a hit and an RBI.
Kapler by the Numbers
On Tuesday night, riding the high of a win, Kapler decided to substitute Brad Miller for the now controversial Sean Rodriguez, more on that in a minute. S-Rod got the start due to his walk-off home run the night before. He was playing with an edge, having reached base twice and scored both times. Well due to a right-handed pitcher, he put in Miller in the 6th inning. Miller went 0 for 2.
Nobody is going to mistake S-Rod for being a starting everyday player. However, Kapler has to put a line-up together that he thinks is going to win that night. Taking a player out of the game that early because the numbers tell you to doesn’t make sense to me. He has done this with Haseley as well, subbing early takes a bat off the bench and in the close game Tuesday, doesn’t make sense.
Speaking of S-Rod:
Ok, I have no problem with S-Rod calling out the fans for their over the line comments. However, Rodriguez tripped over his own words. Rule #1, don’t crap where you eat. Don’t insult the fans, even if you’re right. The next two night the fans let Rodriguez know how they felt by booing him when he came to the plate, then cheering when he was hit by a pitch. Philly fans have to be better. Oh, they also were really loud when he hit a double. We Philly fans love and embrace the tough guy mentality. Well, lets show more toughness, mental toughness and not be overly sensitive when a player speaks his mind. S-Rod since apologized, saying his choice of words was wrong.
On a side note, maybe what Rodriguez did was calculated. Maybe he was hearing all the boos and vitriol being targeted towards Rhys Hoskins and he decided to make a statement. By coming out and saying some of the actions of the fans were entitled, he took pressure of Hoskins. This is speculation of course, but it worked.
Speaking of Rhys
There is something to say about comfort and it appears that hitting leadoff was outside Hoskins’ comfort zone. Well, he was moved back to the cleanup spot and went 2 for 4 with a triple and a double. Hopefully, this marks the last of his slump.
Hoskins finally got the bat working. If the Phillies expect to fight for the last wild card spot they will need to beat up on bad teams and get Hoskins going. They did both last night. Hopefully, this is the start and the Mets come to visit this weekend.
Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports