Phils could be 'scary' if lineup clicks like this

May 8th, 2021

Rhys Hoskins struck out twice in the first inning on Friday night -- and he still managed to score a run in the frame.

That's just the kind of night it was for the Phillies.

Zach Eflin ran the bases before even throwing his first pitch, and every Philadelphia starter had reached base before there was even an out recorded in the third inning en route to a 12-2 series-opening victory over the Braves at Truist Park. The Phils finished with season highs in both runs and hits (16), while all eight starting position players reached base at least twice -- and they chased Atlanta starter Charlie Morton after just two-thirds of an inning.

After a four-game sweep of the Brewers in which a different player provided the big hit(s) each night -- J.T. Realmuto on Monday, Andrew McCutchen and Brad Miller on Tuesday, Didi Gregorius on Wednesday and on Thursday -- the Phillies finally put it all together as they stretched their winning streak to five games on Friday.

"You see it tonight, knocking around one of the best starters in the game the last five years," said , who returned from the injured list with a four-hit night. "That tells you how deep of a lineup we have. It's a scary lineup."

Though everyone got in on the fun, including a late two-run homer from Realmuto, it was a particularly encouraging night for Segura, Bohm and , each of whom had multiple hits and multiple RBIs.

Segura: 4-for-5, two RBIs
In his first game since April 20, Segura picked up right where he left off before landing on the injured list with a strained right quad. The infielder ripped a two-run single in the first, then added three more base knocks in a four-hit effort that raised his season average to .369.

Segura has at least one hit in 11 of his last 12 games -- with the one exception being the game from which he departed in the second inning with his quad injury. He's hitting .452 during that span.

"Big night from him," manager Joe Girardi said. "We had contributions up and down our lineup, and I think when you have a healthy lineup, you're going to see that more often. It's great to see Jean out there."

Bohm: 2-for-5, two RBIs
After coming through with a clutch homer to break a scoreless tie in the seventh inning on Thursday, Bohm decided to open the scoring much earlier on Friday. He lined a bases-loaded RBI single to put the Phils on the board in the first, then added another RBI single in the sixth.

He's hitting .296 with a .815 OPS in seven games this month after struggling to a .207 average and .549 OPS in April.

"He's had a lot of bad luck, too," Girardi said. "It's frustrating when you're a young player … when you have bad luck. His at-bats, we've thought, have been pretty good. When you look up and you're hitting .210, .220, it's frustrating for hitters. It's really frustrating, especially because of the success he had last year."

That's not just coach-talk. Bohm's 92.8 mph average exit velocity ranks fifth in the NL behind only Pete Alonso, Ronald Acuña Jr., Bryce Harper and Manny Machado. The Phils third baseman also has a .523 xSLG -- a full 170 points higher than his actual .353 slugging percentage.

"He's been hitting the ball real, real hard," Girardi said. "He's [near the top] in hard-hit rate in the Majors. He's a guy who I know is going to hit because the way he handles pitches and the way he uses all sides of the field -- there's not many guys who can do that. At some point, you get hot, and watch out."

Herrera: 2-for-4, HR, four RBIs
Herrera jumped all over an 87 mph cutter from Morton, roping a 109.3 mph liner over the right-center-field wall for a three-run homer. It was his first home run in more than two years, but perhaps more importantly for the Phillies, it was his fourth straight batted ball with an exit velocity of at least 100 mph dating to Thursday.

"We've just seen better swings and his work in BP and the ball jumping off his bat, from gap to gap,” Girardi said. "We felt like it was coming. That's a big three-run homer tonight for him -- and us."

Herrera's four RBIs nearly doubled the season total for Philadelphia's center fielders (they entered with five). He's 4-for-10 over the last three games at a position where the Phillies began the season just 11-for-100 (.110).

Girardi said before the game that Herrera's extra work with hitting coach Joe Dillon has been paying off and the club wanted to "see where this takes us" in its quest to solve its center-field woes.

"It feels excellent. It feels really good," said Herrera, who added that he's been putting in extra work in the cage and focusing on using his legs more in his swing. "The most important thing is it helped the team win."

But is he ready to secure the everyday job in center?

"Yeah, for sure," Herrera said.