The Phillies won a 13-6 slugfest Saturday at the San Francisco Giants’ pitcher-friendly ballpark and are one of many MLB lineups that has been significantly better this month than the previous two.
Offense has exploded across the majors in June because of a combination of warmer weather and the loss of sticky substances pitchers can use to improve their grip on the baseball. The scoring started early in this one with four crooked numbers in the first five half-innings.
This win put the Phillies right back at the .500 mark with a 34-34 record. With the New York Mets’ 6-2 loss to the Washington Nationals, the Phils are now four games out of first place in the National League East.
Here’s three takeaways:
Big days for Hoskins & Torreyes
Rhys Hoskins had a career day with two homers, a 391-foot double that would have been out in most stadiums, and six RBIs.
Hoskins snapped an 0-for-33 skid Wednesday with a home run off Clayton Kershaw and is back on one of his heaters.
“We saw it at the end of our trip to L.A. that his swing was back,” manager Joe Girardi said. “He was making solid contact all the time and it’s what he’s been doing. We had a tough night last night and then he has a big game, gets us going right away again. It was great to see.”
Ronald Torreyes — here mainly for his defensive ability and versatility — also had a huge afternoon with a two-run double and a solo home run to deep left-center. He has helped solidify the Phillies’ infield defense with Didi Gregorius injured, and he continues to pick up clutch hits at an unexpected rate. Through 82 plate appearances, the veteran utilityman is batting .282 with eight extra-base hits and 13 RBI.
“Torreyes has been great, we’ve been really pleased with To,” Girardi said. “He does so many things right. People say, ‘Why do you love Torreyes?’ He’s a ballplayer. That’s what he is. He really understands the game and I trust him wherever I put him. I don’t ever have to worry about him being prepared. That’s a luxury for a manager.
“I don’t know where we’d be without him.”
There wasn’t a scoreless half-inning until the fourth. Torreyes’ two-run double put the Phillies ahead in the third and his sixth-inning blast put them ahead for good.
“He’s been a sparkplug,” Hoskins said. “He always seems to be in the right place at the right time and that’s definitely not an accident. He’s always ready to play.”
Nola’s sorrowful day backed up by Suarez
This was one of the Phillies’ best days of the season up and down the lineup, thankfully.
The bats picked up Aaron Nola, who had another poor start. He allowed six runs in 2⅓ innings and his ERA is the highest it’s been all season at 4.22. He has not made back-to-back quality starts in over six weeks.
Ranger Suarez was a savior out of the bullpen yet again with 2⅔ scoreless innings. He has a 0.71 ERA and 0.67 WHIP in 25⅓ innings. He’s blossomed in the middle innings and late in games and has unquestionably been the Phillies’ best reliever so far in 2021.
Outfielder Matt Vierling — called up from Triple A earlier in the day to replace the injured Matt Joyce — made his MLB debut as a pinch-hitter in the sixth inning and picked up his first big-league hit, stolen base and run. He stroked a ball in between first and second base and scored on Hoskins’ deep double.
The Phillies and Giants wrap things up Sunday. Zach Eflin goes for the Phillies and left-hander Sammy Long will make his first big-league start for the Giants.