The Phillies are on a roll this week, winning three straight games and four of their last five. The last two have come in dramatic fashion with a near blowup on Thursday and an extra innings win on Friday, but nevertheless they’ve got something cooking.
Bailey Falter was excellent on Friday night, striking out eight over 6.0 innings while only allowing two earned runs. The bullpen was nails after that, with Brad Hand, José Alvarado, Seranthony Domínguez and Connor Brogdon tossing a scoreless frame each.
Alec Bohm, Matt Vierling, and the embattled Nick Castellanos collected a pair of hits apiece, but the true standout was Rhys Hoskins. He went 4-4 with a home run and three RBI, bringing his season OPS up to a terrific .823. He was the hero in the tenth inning, launching a two-run shot to dead center off of Duane Underwood Jr. to give the Phils the final 4-2 lead.
The Phillies are on a roll, taking the first two of a four game set against a pitiful Pirates club. While it’s easy to say they’re only scraping by a team they should beat easily, it’s an improvement over last weekend when they got swept by the woeful Chicago Cubs.
With the trade deadline less than a week away the Phillies are sure to make some moves to shore things up. Even with Jean Segura on a rehab assignment and Bryce Harper supposedly returning at some point in April, they’ll still need some reinforcements. They could use a center fielder and another starter to be sure. Despite the bullpen’s dominance over the past two months there are still some spots that could be upgraded, most notably Jeurys Familia and his 6.00 ERA. It’ll be interesting to see how the deadline shakes out, and if Dave Dombrowski can help this team snap its decade-long playoff drought.