2018 Recaps

Phillies keep winning; beat Pirates 6-2

Oh yeah.

Today I went to New York City with my dad. We watched the Sixers beat the Heat despite grueling conditions, then slurped down oysters and drank gin as Rhys Hoskins stepped to the plate against the Pirates. Rhys Hoskins helped to make our day wonderful.

His three-run home run in the sixth inning led the Phillies in an eventual 6-2 win over Pittsburgh. They can sweep the four-game set against the Buccos with a win Sunday.

Saturday was #NolaDay, and the dude didn’t disappoint, striking out nine in seven frames of two-run ball. He got the win. While he pitched well, Hoskins hit the big homer and then contributed a bloop single in the eighth to score the fourth run. Scott Kingery added the fifth run thanks to a single, and the sixth run came from a muffed force play at home plate.

Whatever the case, the Phillies are now 13-7. And they’re playing pretty well.



  1. Vernon Dozier

    April 22, 2018 at 7:55 pm

    It seems like only yesterday when fans were calling for Kapler to be fired…

    #BeBold #14-7

    • Ken Bland

      April 22, 2018 at 9:48 pm

      Phillies are 12-3 since Tim Malcolm announced he was joining up with the Church of Kapler, but who’s counting.

      Fans are an amazing species. If you scan posts around and about, its one of life’s great consistencies how when their team wins, the optimistic portion of the population goes into typing mode, and when their team loses, viva la critics for showing off their writing skills.

      The bottom line is this. Kapler’s getting more comfortable, and his team seems to be equally so with him. A small amount of sampling I’ve heard from his players suggest they really believe in this analytics approach (Hoskins, Kingery, Pivetta as examples).

      This throng of fans that were in full force screaming about Kapler early on, while not without a decent degree of justified anger is probably chomping at the bit ready to resurface when the Dbacks come to play.

      The schedule hasn’t been challenging, and while there’s a whole bunch of baseball ahead of us, we’ll at least have a little better idea about this team after this coming series. No Corbin, but out Phoenix way, they’re probably thanking the baseball gods they won’t see Pivetta.

      To me, the bottom line is the club itself seems to have done a fine job of separating itself from public opinion. As Nola said early in the spring, and I paraphrase, “Many people think we’re still in a rebuilding stage, but inside the clubhouse, we feel we’re past that.”

      At least we have legitimate room for optimism after 20 games. Two years ago, the Phils were 7 over .500 after 40 games and had won more 1 run games than they’d played. But you just knew it was a mirage. This time, you only THINK it MIGHT, or at worst, probably (to SOME extent) is. All I know is despite Scherzer and Strassburg, I’m wondering just how much of a certainty the Nats are to win the division. It’s an interesting division unlike last year’s NL Central where the Cubs struggled early, but you almost knew they’d take first place eventually.

    • betasigmadeltahag

      April 23, 2018 at 10:53 pm

      This was one of my biggest fears, that they would win despite Kaplar. He still makes big mistakes. One is sitting Catrawford after he finally had a few good at bats, because the chart told him it was time for him sit. And he has several bad at bats since. His moving Kingery around to all the different positions is effecting his at bats. The starting pitching is coming into it’s own. Which is big reason they are winning. He changed pitchers to face a pinch hitting PITCHER. Sometimes you just have to pick 8 guys and run them out there for a week or two. And how long his Santana hitting .180 going to stay in the 2 hole and play every day. Yes they are beating bad teams and I hope they keep winning against good teams. But until Kaplar see’s there is some value in traditional baseball moves and stops being so strictly by his charts in the long term he will not win.

  2. Ken Bland

    April 23, 2018 at 2:42 pm

    Meaningless though it might be, here’s where the Phillies stand in some power rankings around the media world…

    Bleacher Report, through yesterday’s Pittsburgh sweep, Phils are 16th, 1 behind the Braves, 2 notches below Pittsburgh. Next opponent Arizona, by the way is 2nd, behind only Boston. Phils moved up 1 notch over a week ago.

    Also through yesterday’s play, USA Today has the Phils at 14th, up 4 spots over a week ago. Phils are 2 notches over Atlanta.

    As of today, CBS Sports has the Phils at 15, stating that if the back end of the rotation holds up, the Phils are a playoff team (interesting priority of ifs if you ask me). This is 1 spot above the Nats.

    As of today, ESPN has the Phils 13th (Washington 9th). That’s up from 18th and the explanation is the Phils excellent run differential, which is excellent, though doubled by the Florida blitzkrieg (+20-1), even if it also includes the Saturday Night Massacre in Atlanta (-15-2).

    Final Note…the CBS Sports poll additionally mentions the Orioles of a year ago were 14-6, continued on to 22-10, and finished 75-87. Dare I point out that even within the apples field, there’s Honeycrisp and Golden Delicious, let alone the apples to oranges type comparison.

  3. Jeff Orbach

    April 24, 2018 at 8:39 am

    I’m enjoying it while it lasts. I still think that Kapler needs to get more attuned to the rythms of the game. Simply put, it means watch the game instead of looking at your charts and basing your decisions solely on what the charts say. I think he’s doing better at this than he was at the begining of the season. At least he seems flexible, which is an important quality for an MLB Manager to have.

  4. Ken Bland

    April 24, 2018 at 5:53 pm

    No question, you knew Altherr would be in the lineup for the start of the ‘Zona series. And he is. Holy cow, in CF. No Odubel. I absolutely wonder about that move. Is Ray THAT tough on lefties? Florimon at short. I’d have expected Kingery who I thought might hit lower in the lineup since he’s cooled a bit of late.

    We’ll see how this works out…it’s not like it absolutely can’t, but it seems like it reduces the chance of a strong offensive game. Forgetting all that about the lineup, for whatever expectations are worth, it’d be a very pleasant surprise to see the Phils take 2 of the next 3.

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