Velasquez strong, Williams goes long in Phillies win

Vincent VelasquezVelasquez didn’t get through the first inning before giving fans reason to worry he was in for another long, labored outing. With a man out and no one on, Giancarlo Stanton ripped a fastball out of the yard. He and Velasquez both knew off the bat it would be gone, and it’s likely the same could be said of everyone in a three mile radius.

Fortunately, Velasquez got through the first with just the one run scoring, and he ultimately went 6 innings and allowed only 2 runs (1 earned). To top that, he did so while averaging just over 13 pitches per inning, making it his most pitch-efficient outing of the year.

It wasn’t all candies and nuts for Velasquez, though, who also committed an error when he fielded a dribbler back at him and threw the ball into right, allowing batter J.T. Riddle to reach third. Riddle would later score in a passed ball that got through Cameron Rupp.

At another point, some bad baserunning gifted the Marlins a double-play. Despite producing a win with plenty the team should feel good about, it wasn’t a completely clean game, either.

Some of that good feeling comes from which players led the team to the victory. In addition to the strong performance from Velasquez, Maikel Franco had 3 hits, including his 14th homer of the year, and Odubel Herrera had a pair of knocks, 2 runs, a walk, and a batflip to the wrong dugout. These two, along with Velasquez, comprise a trio of players the team hoped to see take a step forward in the 2017 season, and it would be a much improved lineup with more nights like tonight that featured each of them making their mark.

Meanwhile, Nick Williams continues to make his presence felt in the Phillies lineup. His third homerun of the year came off Jarlin Garcia, a lefty reliever, and plated 2 runs to give the Phillies some breathing room, expanding their lead to 5-2, which they held.

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