Kyle Gibson shines in debut, Phillies takes care of awful Pirates pitching in blowout win
The Phillies’ offense took advantage of horrible Pittsburgh Pirates pitching and Kyle Gibson — who made his debut with the Phillies Sunday — did exactly what he was acquired to do, delivering 6 2/3 quality innings in a 15-4 win over the Pirates.
The Phils scored in seven different innings and had 20 hits. They had nine doubles in a game for the first time since 1986. They had one extra-base hit total the previous two nights, both losses.
The four Pirates pitchers the Phillies faced (excluding a position player in the ninth) have allowed a combined 84 earned runs in 94 innings this season for an 8.04 ERA. Still, this is what you have to do to bad teams.
A Phillie for 48 hours, Gibson was efficient and forced weak contact in all innings other than the third — when he walked the opposing pitcher with two outs and let him score before stranding the bases loaded — and the seventh.
Gibson is not a spectacular top-of-the-rotation piece but he is steady and can be relied upon to complete six innings, which he’s done in 15-of-20 starts this season. That’s almost double the length the Phillies had received lately from Vince Velasquez, Matt Moore, and Spencer Howard, who was traded to Texas for Gibson.
Bryce Harper doubled three times, a good sign after he grimaced during his first-inning at-bat. He appeared to still be feeling the impact of running into the right-field wall Friday and hurting his rib cage/side.
J.T. Realmuto went 5-for-6 and drove in four runs. Jean Segura had two doubles and drove in three.
Didi Gregorius began August by driving in three runs with a three-hit day. He hit .163 in July and had an on-base percentage of .258 entering Sunday. The Phillies badly need him to get hot for a few weeks to give them a second threatening lefty bat to go with Harper.
The Phillies are banged up again. They were without Rhys Hoskins for a third straight game after he suffered a groin injury Thursday. Andrew McCutchen was out after injuring his right knee and leaving Saturday’s game late. It is the same knee he had surgery on in 2019.
The Phils are 52-53 as they head to Washington to play a Nationals team that just traded away Max Scherzer, Trea Turner, Brad Hand, Yan Gomes, and Josh Harrison this week.
The New York Mets lost to the Cincinnati Reds Sunday so the Phillies are 3.5 games back again. They’ve been between 3.5 and 4.5 games back every day since July 21.
The Mets, who are without Jacob deGrom until at least September, have let the Phillies and Atlanta Braves hang around the top of the NL East. So far, neither team has been able to capitalize. All three teams have identical 8-9 records since the All-Star break.