Four things we learned about the Phillies in recent series against the Giants

MLB: SEP 23 Phillies at Nationals
WASHINGTON, DC – SEPTEMBER 23: Philadelphia Phillies catcher Andrew Knapp (5) flips his bat during the Philadelphia Phillies versus the Washington Nationals on September 23, 2020 at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire)

For the first time since 2015, the San Francisco Giants have won a series in Philadelphia. They won the first 2 games and the Phillies salvaged game 3. It was a series that could’ve easily been swept by the Phillies had they not been hit by the IL bug.

Many things happened during this series. Let’s break them down.

Injuries are costing the Phillies

In the first game of the series, the Phillies lost 2-0 while going 0-8 with RISP. It was the first game of the season without Didi Gregorius in the lineup. He isn’t on the IL but the lack of someone hitting .296 in the lineup was palpable.

Injuries in the bullpen hurt the Phillies in games 2 and 3. Archie Bradley is currently on the IL with an injured oblique and Jose Alvarado is out for COVID-related protocols. In both games, the Phillies let the Giants come back from multiple run leads. No one expected Connor Brogdon‘s 12-inning scoreless streak to end in such an explosion (6 ER), but without Bradley and Alvarado, we could be in for more of the same.

Also Jean Segura is out for a couple of weeks. Thank God Brad Miller is on the roster.

Old “Friends” Visit CBP

Remember Darin Ruf? The “could replace Ryan Howard because he hit 20 home runs in a month in Double AA” Darin Ruf. After spending 2017-2019 in Korea (before it was cool), he signed with the Giants. While revisiting Philly for the first time, he drew an important walk in game 2 and hit a game-tying pinch-hit 3-run home run in game 3. He may not be a friend anymore.

Jose Alverez also revisited Philly with the Giants this week. He pitched 2 scoreless innings in 2 games and got the win in game 2. That’s another old friend off the list. Take comfort in that this happened the last time he was in a Phillies uniform.

Still hurts.

And Gabe Kapler was back too…much to the annoyance of Phillies fans in attendance

Knapp Time

Andrew Knapp has just 3 hits on the season. Two of them have been of the game-changing verity. He hit the Phillies’ first home run on April 4th helping the Phillies to a 2-1 victory over the Braves. In game 3 of the series, he hit this piss missile for the walk-off.

He may only get a hit 21% of the time but 67% of the time, it’s an important one.

3’s Company

You might not know just how good Bryce Harper is right now. He’s 3rd in all of baseball in OBP, 7th in OPS, and 10th in batting average. He has an 1.845 OPS in his last 5 games. Oh, and he’s been hitting clutch home runs.

He could be cruising into MVP conversation, but that’s a story for another day.

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Photo by Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire