Young Phillies hitters have big night vs. Brewers
PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies lost unceremoniously.
In an 8-7 defeat to the Brewers that lasted 11 innings, the Phillies sent six batters to the plate in extra innings. The results?
Flyout. Strikeout. Popout. Groundout. Groundout. Groundout.
But to characterize the entire loss based on the lack of extra-inning offensive output is a fallacy. The Phillies notched 16 hits on Thursday night and clawed back from a three-run deficit in the seventh inning to even force extras.
Odubel Herrera, Cody Asche, Freddy Galvis and Cesar Hernandez, four young players often mentioned in the discussions of the future of the franchise, contributed 12 of those 16 hits, each contributing three. Asche put the team on the board early with a two-run home run, his fourth of the year, and Galvis supplied the game-tying hit when his third single came in the seventh.
However, in the eighth and ninth innings things didn't run as smoothly. The Phillies stranded three men, all of whom could've served as the go-ahead run.
Herrera began the eighth inning with a leadoff single, continuing the hit parade from the seventh. He wasn't able to advance beyond first though, as two of the next three batters struck out and one flied out to left field. The first strikeout came courtesy of Hernandez, who fouled off a third strike when trying to bunt.
The decision to bunt was questionable being that Hernandez had 14 hits over the seven-game home stand and has more hits than any other National League player dating back to June 21, but Phillies interim manager Pete Mackanin defended the decision, saying the outcome hinged upon execution.
"He's got to get a bunt down," Mackanin said. "We're trying to win the game. I want the guy in scoring position. The guy's a table setter. He doesn't hit for power. He's got to get the bunt down. And that's why I did it."
The ninth inning ended similarly. Asche reached with a single and Galvis worked a walk, but Cameron Rupp and Jeff Francoeur both hit the ball straight to second baseman Scooter Gennett to end the inning.
Despite this, the Phillies youth shined Thursday night, especially Galvis and Hernandez. The middle infielders combined for those six hits as well as turned three double plays and would've executed a fourth had it not been for Carlos Gomez's speed.
Hernandez, who has only been a true everyday player since June 24 when Chase Utley went on the DL, and Galvis showed off their chemistry on those double plays. To Galvis, playing with Hernandez as his turn man as opposed to Utley isn't much of a transition.
"I think it's the same," Galvis said. "I've been playing with Cesar back too. I feel good about playing with Cesar and Chase. I think it's the same. I think that Chase, he's got more experience. Cesar is learning but he's doing really good."