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Phillies Beat with Destiny Lugardo

A controversial lineup decision leads to milestone night for Brad Miller

Joe Girardi sat two of his hottest hitters, Rhys Hoskins and Andrew McCutchen, all in the name of matchups. Cubs right-handed starter Adbert Alzolay’s career platoon splits are drastic, so lefties Brad Miller and Travis Jankowski were in the starting lineup.

Brad Miller homered three times in a win against Chicago on Thursday. (Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire)

The decision was met with eye rolls all around the Delaware Valley. It turned out to be one of Girardi’s best moves as Phillies manager. Miller crushed three home runs in his first four at-bats. It was the first time in 13 years a Phillies player homered thrice. The last time it happened, Harry Kalas was on the call. Kate Esposito of Levittown won a hundred dollars courtesy of the McDonald’s Home Run Jackpot on Jayson Werth’s first home run of the night against the Toronto Blue Jays on May 16, 2008.

Girardi declined to take the victory lap.

“I’ve done it long enough to understand that’s just part of the job,” Girardi said. “Every decision that we make as a team and as a coaching staff is thought out, but there’s always a human element that you have to understand that sometimes things aren’t just going to work out. The other team is paid to beat you. If the other team was paid to lose, it would always work. So every move a manager made would always work, but you learn to make the best decisions with the information you have at the time and you got to live with it.”

With three games against the Boston Red Sox on tap, Miller could find himself in the lineup with the DH at Girardi’s disposal. He has 11 career extra-base hits at Fenway Park in 32 games played. The Phillies are scheduled to face two right-handers in Garrett Richards and former teammate Nick Pivetta.

Miller could be on the brink of another impressive power streak. In the final days of his first stint with the Phillies in 2019, Miller had three multi home run games in a span of nine days.

“I’m always going up there to hit a home run,” Miller said Thursday night. “I mean, seriously. I think I need to take that mindset in there right like, ‘Do damage. Get a pitch that I can drive.’

“I went up there. Just kind of reacted and before you know it, you’re rounding the bases, pointing at the boys and celebrating.”


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