Thank the lord for Neil Walker! You heard me thank god for Neil! We will forever know September second as the Neil Walker game! Whoever would have thought this would be the guy who gets us over the hump? I highly doubt any of us could’ve predicted this. So why don’t we dive in and discuss how it happened!
While this wasn’t your typical type of performance for the Phillies, it was good enough. We sadly can’t expect this team to put up five-plus runs every night. It’s a nice luxury to have, but we can’t expect it to happen daily. Sometimes you do just enough to get the job done, and this was one of those times. We got to see a nice resurgence from Jay Bruce! He went 1-4, with a solo home run. Over the past three games, he’s averaging .400, with two home runs. Having a guy like Bruce is a nice feather in your cap, off the bench.
Ready for the shock of the evening? Neil Walker. In a surprising move, Girardi chooses to have Walker play over the streaking Hoskins. Why? Hoskins is 0-17 against Scherzer, so I’d imagine he wanted to try other options. Walker, who was 8-32 against Scherzer, made the most of his night. He went 3-3 with a two-run single. He also raised his batting average to .276. All in all, a good night of offense from the bench players.
Wheeler somehow is getting better with each game he plays. He’s been worth his weight in gold. To have a pitcher who gives up only 1.9 runs through 6.2 innings on average is a nice thing to have. Not to mention all the double plays or ground outs the guy gets. Wheeler has only allowed two runs in his last two starts. He went scoreless as he allowed only three hits through 6.2 innings of work, along with walking two and striking out six. Wheeler has been the type fo costar Aaron Nola has always needed, and it’s a beauty to see.
It’s comforting to see the bullpen have success. I know some people are bullish on Workman, but he’s been a nice piece during this stretch of games, other than his debut game. We finally were able to see David Phelps debut in a Phillies uniform, and it did not disappoint. He pitched 1.1 innings, allowed no hits or runs, and struck out a batter. You got to have a decent outing from Workman, who only allowed one hit while walking a batter and striking out one. Over the past two games, the pen has only allowed three hits, one walk, and struck out three batters. The important take away is that they’ve allowed zero runs through the past two games. You’ll need more from the pen as The Sprint To The Finish rages on!