April 23, 2017
Just like last season, your Philadelphia Phillies are playing some pretty good baseball in April. That hot start in 2016, aided by some unsustainable luck in close games, obviously didn’t continue throughout the summer.
The Phillies’ run differential looks a bit better so far this season, and Pete Mackanin’s club has quietly survived a difficult early schedule heavy on games against the New York Mets and Washington Nationals with a 9-9 record.
On Sunday, they finished off a three-game sweep of the Atlanta Braves with a 5-2 win thanks to back-to-back-to-back homers in the bottom of the eighth inning from Cesar Hernandez…
And Odubel Herrera, who celebrated his opposite field blast with one of his patented majestic bat flips…
BACK TO BACK TO BAT FLIP pic.twitter.com/Sejyqyztfz— chris jones¯\_(ツ)_/¯ (@LONG_DRIVE) April 23, 2017
The Phillies offense had struggled most of the afternoon against Braves starter Mike Foltynewicz, who allowed only four hits through seven innings. But they were able to scrape a run across in the bottom of the seventh inning before the floodgates opened in the eighth against Atlanta’s bullpen.
The Phillies starting pitcher wasn’t half-bad on Sunday afternoon, either: Zach Eflin threw seven innings of three-hit baseball, also only allowing one run. And despite a rough outing by Hector Neris in the ninth inning — It just might be one of those years where nothing will come easy at the end of games for the bullpen — the Phils were able to take care of business against an Atlanta team they should be able to have some success against.
Everyone knows that the baseball season is a marathon (again, just look at last year), but to start things off, a Phillies team that came into the year with very few expectations find themselves in a pretty good spot.
The Phils will be back in action Tuesday at Citizens Bank Park against the Miami Marlins.
Follow Rich on Twitter: @rich_hofmann
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