The Phillies’ June dominance continued on Friday night, as they won the series opener 7-5 against the Diamondbacks. It’s an incredible roll the team is on, as they went from a lifeless 21-29 team just over a week ago, to a club at the .500 mark that looks destined for greater things. Caden marge, the young fan who went viral on Sunday when he prayed for Bryson Stott’s walkoff homer, helped cheer the Phils on to another victory tonight.
The Phils jumped on D-Backs’ starter Zac Gallen early, scoring one in the first inning, and then hanging a five spot on him in the second. The bats went cold after that, aside from a seventh inning solo shot from Rhys Hoskins, but it was enough to fend off a surprising Arizona club that put together a late rally.
Hoskins hit two longballs in this one, while Kyle Schwarber added a three-run jack of his own. The only other RBI came on a Didi Gregorius double in the second. The only Phillies to go hitless were Alec Bohm (who made a tremendous catch in foul ground) and Garrett Stubbs, while Bryce Harper went 3-4, bringing his season OPS up to an incredible 1.010.
Kyle Gibson looked terrific through six innings, as he allowed only one run on a Daulton Varsho solo shot. However, he had his patented late-inning meltdown in the seventh, allowing two more earned runs and failing to record an out. Brad Hand, who had been the Phillies’ most effective reliever up to this point, allowed two more runs to score in only one third of an inning in relief of Gibson. However, closer-in-waiting Seranthony Domínguez was able to put out the fire by finishing out the frame in scoreless fashion. Connor Brogdon then pitched a clean eighth to preserve the lead, and Corey Knebel looked to have his curveball working as he slammed the door in the ninth. It’s a miraculous run for the Rob Thomson-led Phillies, as he now becomes the first Phillies manager since Pat Moran in 1915 to win his first seven contests at the helm.
The top story of the day belongs to young superfan Caden Marge, who was the center of attention during today’s festivities. The eight-year-old West Chester boy was made famous last Sunday for praying during Bryson Stott’s game-winning at bat. Stott invited Marge and his family down to the park today to meet the team. A heartwarming moment ensued as the top-ranked prospect gave the local boy a signed bat and some other gear. Marge was then brought into the Phillies’ broadcast booth for their dominant second inning, sharing a microphone with Tom McCarthy and John Kruk. The adorable eight-year-old captured the hearts of Phillies fans all over, and is certainly becoming an adorable good luck charm for this streaking team.