I thought this was supposed to be a down year for the Phils? Apparently not, because they have looked sharp over last couple of weeks. Yesterday, the Phillies defeated the Cleveland Indians 2-1 to complete the sweep and earn their sixth win in a row (9 out of the last 10).
Phillies starting pitcher Vince Velasquez tossed a two hit ball game over six innings of play. He struck out six and was able to effectively pitch around trouble. Because of this, he lowered his ERA to 1.44. RHP David Hernandez relieved for the Phillies and pitched two scoreless innings. Later, Hector Neris earned his first career save after giving up a solo homer to Carlos Santana with one out in the ninth. He finished the game off with a K, his 24th in 15 1/3 innings, tying him with Dellin Betances for the lead in K’s by a relief pitcher.
Hernandez had some words after the game. “Our offense isn’t explosive by any means so for us to be successful, we have to win close games and we understand that”, Hernandez said.
In this contest, runs were far from easy to come by as they have been all season. All of the scoring by the Phillies was done in the third inning where a RBI single by Freddy Galvis scored Velasquez. Afterward, a balk by Danny Salazar brought the second run home.
Salazar was the tough luck loser for Cleveland. He gave up two runs, three hits, and mowed down eight in seven innings. Salazar hasn’t allowed more than three hits in any of his five starts.
Unfortunately for Cleveland, the Indians have played in six straight one run games and have gone 1-5.
It’s no secret that the Phillies’ great start this season is largely due to strong pitching. The staff altogether has three shutouts and has only given up 10 runs during this winning streak. “It’s phenomenal,” Velasquez said. “We’re doing a great job. It’s fun to watch.”
The Phillies start a new series tonight against the St. Louis Cardinals.Jeremy Hellickson (2-1) will start on the mound for the Phillies and the Cardinals starting pitcher will be Adam Wainwright (1-3). Coverage starts at 8:10 PM ET.