The 31-31 Philadelphia Phillies have won three straight games, they’ll try and extend their winning streak to four with a win Sunday over the 33-31 New York Yankees.
Here’s what to watch:
It was easy to feel good about Wednesday night’s walk-off win. Rookie Luke Williams clubbed a two-run homer, the first of his career, with two outs in the ninth to give the Phils a 2-1 victory over the Atlanta Braves.
But Thursday’s walk-off win over Atlanta came after Hector Neris allowed a game-tying solo homer to 2020 National League MVP Freddie Freeman in the top of the ninth and one Saturday after he gave up two walks and a game-tying three-run homer to the Yankees’ DJ LeMahieu, the 2020 American League batting champ.
Neris’ struggles took none of the luster off the victories, in manager Joe Girardi’s eyes.
“The bottom line is we won the game, right?” Girardi said. “Hector gave up a home run to the MVP last year, right? And LeMahieu is pretty good, too. The thing that hurt him were the two walks and that’s what we have to take care of.
“Hector, for the most part, has been really good for us this year. Closers go through it. We’ll get him back on track and we’ll go from there.”
Girardi said his faith in Neris was unshaken.
“I had the pleasure of catching and managing the greatest closer of all time,” he said, referring to Mariano Rivera. “I saw him blow saves. I did. The thing is, we’ve got to clear up the walks. That’s what we’ve got to take care of.”
Neris has blown four of his 13 save chances. He has struck out 33 and walked 11 in 25 2/3 innings and opponents are hitting .191. He has allowed five home runs.
Clubhouses are not open to reporters so it was difficult to gauge what the two blown saves this week have done to Neris’ confidence. Girardi was asked about his closer’s psyche.
“I don’t ever pretend to be a psychiatrist, but I’ll make sure it’s OK,” Girardi said.
Archie Bradley got the win with a scoreless top of the 10th and showed his best fastball of the season, topping out at 95 mph.
Could he soon get a look at closer?
“That’s the best Archie’s thrown but I’m not making any changes,” Girardi said.
Now, that doesn’t mean someone else won’t close if the Phillies have a save situation on Sunday. Neris threw 30 pitches and will probably be unavailable. But starting Monday in Los Angeles, it sounds like he’ll get the ball in a save situation. If there is one.
Phillies’ starter Aaron Nola’s 4.06 ERA after 13 starts this season is his slowest start since 2019, when he had a 4.63 ERA in 13 starts. As you can see, he’s been struggling as of late.
Nola has a 4.97 ERA since his complete game shutout over the St. Lois Cardinals on April 18.
Phillies’ starting lineup vs. Yankees’ righty Domingo Germán:
- Odubel Herrera (L) CF
- Jean Segura (R) 2B
- J.T. Realmuto (R) C
- Bryce Harper (L) RF
- Rhys Hoskins (R) 1B
- Andrew McCutchen (R) LF
- Alec Bohm (R) 3B
- Ronald Torreyes (R) SS
- Aaron Nola (R) P
Yankees’ starting lineup vs. Phillies’ righty Aaron Nola:
Article will be updated once lineup is posted.