Philadelphia Phillies offense explodes as team wins two series: week in review
Philadelphia Phillies’ Odubel Herrera in action during a baseball game against the Milwaukee Brewers, Saturday, July 22, 2017, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Derik Hamilton)
The Philadelphia Phillies have had their fair share of impressive offenses over the past decade or so, but it had been even longer since the team accomplished what it did Sunday: The Phillies scored five or more runs for the seventh straight game. They hadn’t done that since 2005. It was an impressive showing that headlined the Phillies’ winning week.
Last week: 4-2
Season: 34-62, fifth in NL East
Games back: 24.5 in division, 21.0 in wild card
For the second straight week, the Phillies closed a weekend with a big Sunday against the Milwaukee Brewers. Outfielder Nick Williams hit a two-run home run and the go-ahead RBI single to back up right-hander Jerad Eickhoff for a 6-3 win over the Brewers. It gave the Phillies the win in the rubber match of the series and cap a winning week. The Phillies also won a series against the Marlins earlier in the week.
The Phils dropped a slugfest to the Brewers on Saturday night when reliever Hector Neris surrendered the game-winning RBI single to Domingo Santana in the ninth inning. While Milwaukee tagged righty Jeremy Hellickson for six runs in five innings, and the bullpen couldn’t hold down the Brewers, squandering home runs from Odubel Herrera, Cesar Hernandez and Cameron Rupp.
While Herrera’s homer in the loss to the Brewers was in vain, the center fielder had an impressive week. He hit .409 in six games with three doubles, a home run and three RBI. He walked five times compared to three strikeouts. He’s batting .271 now, up from .217 almost two months ago.
Right-handed reliever Luis Garcia picked up his first save Sunday, and he’s been on an impressive run over the past month. He hasn’t allowed a run since June 13, a span of 15 appearances. His ERA has dropped from 3.97 to 2.25, and he’s allowed 30 hits in 40 innings. It’s a bright spot for a bullpen that had its fair share of struggles this season.
Hellickson has only one quality start in his past four appearances, and the Brewers shelled him for six runs Sunday. It’ll be worth watching his trade value as the deadline approaches.
The Phillies’ reward for taking two of three from the Brewers is a date with the NL West-leading Houston Astros, who took two of three from the Baltimore Orioles over the weekend. The Astros hold the second-best record in the majors and are led by Jose Altuve’s .358 batting average and George Springer’s 27 home runs. It’ll be a formidable challenge for the Phillies.
Monday, July 24, 7:05 p.m.: RHP Vince Velasquez (2-5, 5.14) vs. RHP Brad Peacock (8-1, 2.49)
Tuesday, July 25, 7:05 p.m.: RHP Nick Pivetta (3-5, 5.58) vs. RHP Charlie Morton (7-4, 4.18)
Wednesday, July 26, 7:05 p.m.: RHP Aaron Nola (7-6, 3.38) vs. RHP Mike Fiers (7-4, 3.59)