Early runs, lockouts, strong defense, quiet rest, late locking… Wherever he is, Joe Girardi must be thinking, “Really?”
Velez’s attack on Angels’ starter bowler jumped for the second night in a row, scoring five first-half runs in a 7-2 win.
Rob Thompson is 2-0 as interim captain since taking over for Gerardi, who was sacked Friday morning. Thompson begins his tenure with a streak of winning over a reeling Angels team that has lost 10 consecutive times.
Velez’s team is 24-29 years old after winning three in a row. They outperformed the Angels 17-2 in the last two nights.
“Obviously it was a weird day yesterday,” Rhys Hoskins said during an in-game interview on FOX. “Baseball business shows itself occasionally, but it’s great to see the boys get out on the field and play the game.
“We’re very fortunate that some of us have been with Rob Thompson for a few years and there’s a lot of familiarity. It should be business as usual. I think that’s the nature of baseball season, it’s a day in and a day out. Unfortunately, the game continues.”
“Business as usual and let’s go win some baseball games.”
The tone was set instantly by Kyle Schwarber, who nearly hit the first pitch from down the break for the second game in a row. He smashed one into the right field which a fan from above the wall reached to interfere with, causing a weakness.
Schwarber is locked up and this is an example of how motivating he can be as an unconventional pioneer. In his last five games, he was a 7-for-18 with four pubs, a double, and five walks.
Michael Lorenzen, who entered with a 3.19 ERA, wasn’t fooled by Phillies out of the gate. Eight of the top ten hitters were reached by four walks. JT Realmuto and Johan Camargo drove in two- and one-two pieces.
It was Camargo’s massive two-stroke. As productive as Phil’s first turn might have been, it could have given the Angels momentum if they had escaped by retiring Camargo and only allowing two runs, especially with how Lorenzen settled into firing five point-free frames afterward. The Camargo was behind in the count with bases loading before fully working and single in a pair. The run extended for Mickey Moniak, who led in the fifth round with a slam dunk.
Camargo later added another big hit, a two-stage single in eighth, which gave the Phillies more breathing space and enabled them to use Connor Brogdon in the ninth inning in place of Corey Knebel.
“I’ve been working hard so it’s really good to finally see the results,” said Camargo, who became even more important until the end of the season with Jean Segura out for three months with a broken finger.
Realmuto tripled, the highest in his career. Over his last 11 games, he’s been 14 for 35 (.400) with five pairs, triples, Homer and 9 RBI. He had a good game on both ends and also knocked out Shohei Ohtani trying to steal on the right court, 81-mph curveball in the first half. Realmuto has eliminated 9 of the 18 potential base theft people, topping the majors with 50%.
Zach Wheeler National League pitcher of the month in MayHe won his fourth. He hit nine, all on fast balls, including Mike Trout twice. Trout is 0 against 8 in the series and is unhurt in his last 23 players, the longest streak of his career.
Despite the strong streak (6 IP, 2 ER), Wheeler wasn’t quite at his best, coming out of the stretch in each of the first five rounds and putting several men at base in three of the six rounds. The biggest inning was the fifth, when the Angels had secured the top of the standings standings for the third time after Lorenzen retired 10 of the 11 Phillies. Alec Bohm started the inning with a claw play, dived to his right and made an accurate throw to Matt Duffy’s first retirement. Before Otani and Trout, that was a defining moment. Wheeler let go in the first half but that’s all thanks to his success against Trout and that play by Boom.
“Just a massive play,” Thompson said. “He was a dove, he had the presence and poise to throw a hit on first base. That was a big play to get him off first base with these guys coming.”
Boom had an eventful night. After hitting him in his first AB, he took him out on the bat rack and he was bloodshot in the neck area when the bat bounced off and cut him. He stayed in the game and just missed the next two-round Homer, flying from 401 feet to trout in the center.
“Men get frustrated,” Thompson said. “This is a situation out there where you don’t want to see a guy get hurt, but guys get frustrated and hit the bat rack every now and then.”
Brad Hand and Seranthony Dominguez both threw a goalless run in relief. Hands’ ERA has fallen to 1.13 in 23 games and hasn’t been allowed to run since May 4. Dominguez has not been registered since May 3.
The Phillies go for their scan on Sunday afternoon at 1:35. Kyle Gibson (3-2, 3.83) is pitted against left-handed Patrick Sandoval (3-1, 2.70), the more consistent arm in the Angels spin now.
“We’re happy but we have to control our emotions,” Camargo said of his triple-win streak. “It’s only the beginning. We have to keep fighting and work hard because we know we are a good club.”
“Student. Incurable problem solver. Amateur baconaholic. Introvert. Infuriatingly humble music fanatic.”