May 20, 2022
The goodwill of the Phillies' road series win over the Dodgers evaporated quickly this week, as the Fightins came home and dropped two of three to San Diego. Making matters even worse is that the offense that was electric in L.A. went absolutely quiet in South Philly, as the Phils were shut out in both of their losses this series.
As I do, I'll give a quick series recap and hand out five awards for this three-game set:
• On Monday, the Phillies struck out 10 times while getting shut out in a 3-0 loss.
• The Phils bounced back on Tuesday, winning 3-0 in their own right behind a solo shot from Rhys Hoskins.
• Come Thursday afternoon, the Phils were shut out once more, falling 2-0 to San Diego. The Phillies left eight runners on base and were 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position.
This sums up things well:
Yes, Bryce Harper didn't suit up this series. Still, it needs to be said. Harper has been nursing a UCL injury in his right elbow. It's kept him from playing the field because he can't even throw a baseball. Despite that, Harper has been putting up MVP-caliber numbers from the DH spot for the Phils. If the designated hitter didn't come to the National League, Harper's entire season would be in jeopardy.
Harper received a PRP injection to help him with that injury, which kept him out of the lineup against the Padres. Harper's absence was certainly felt. His back-to-back MVP case was soaring in Los Angeles during the Phillies' onslaught. It's not hard to draw a link between why the Phils were so successful against the Dodgers and were inept against San Diego. I'm not giving him the award, but in a way, he was the series MVP for the Phillies. His value has never been more clear than when it was missing.
Regular Phillies TV play-by-play caller Tom McCarthy was off on Thursday, as he celebrated his daughter's college graduation. Scott Franzke, the Phils' radio PxP broadcaster, filled in. It was the first time Franzke has ever called a Phillies regular season game on TV. It's a shame that the game itself wasn't great, but Franzke sure was. I've loved what Ruben Amaro Jr. has brought to the booth over the last couple of seasons as well. Phillies fans were too hard on him when he was the team's general manager, especially when it came to the advanced stats debate. The drop-off was always going to be steep, but he helped keep the Phillies consistently competitive longer than they've ever been outside of the late 1970s and early 1980s.
Yes, it's T-Mac's job, but props are deserved for these two.
They were shut out twice! No one is hot!
Against the Padres, J.T. Realmuto went 1-for-11 at the plate. While a catcher's importance goes beyond the batter's box, it's been a rough 2022 for Realmuto with the bat in his hand. He's hitting .230 with an on-base percentage of .292 and a puke-worthy slugging percentage of .325. For comparison's sake, Harper is at .305/.361/.634, with that slugging percentage leading the National League.
Realmuto is scheduled to make roughly $23.9 million each of the next three seasons.
Nick Castellanos' son Liam did a good deed on Thursday. He got a foul ball at the game, an unforgettable lifelong memory for any fan. I've been to hundreds of games in my life and have only gotten a foul ball once for reference. Castellanos, being the son of an All-Star slugger, has had his share of cool memorabilia in his young life. He didn't need that foul ball and without an egging on from an adult, did the pure act of making sure that ball went to someone else:
A fan at the Phillies game got a foul ball and tried to give it to a young fan who happened to be Nick Castellanos' son Liam, but Liam made sure it went to another kid ❤️ pic.twitter.com/RUGwomEtmu— Jomboy Media (@JomboyMedia) May 19, 2022
That same Dodgers club the Phillies lit up last weekend comes to Citizens Bank Park starting Friday. The scheduled starters in the three-game series are Ranger Suarez, Aaron Nola and Zach Eflin. On Sunday afternoon, the Phillies will be giving out red and blue digi camo arm sleeves, akin to the ones that Harper usually sports, to fans 14 and under. If I had that as a kid, I would be wearing it every single day when playing wiffle ball after school.
The Phillies then kick off a road trip with four games in Atlanta and three games in Queens. If they want to make up ground in the division, next week is the time to do it.
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