By: Matthew Mack
The Los Angeles Angels come to Philly for a weekend series at Citizen Bank Park.
Before the game even started, Joe Girardi was relieved of his duty as manager of the Phillies Friday morning. Also on the firing train was coaching assistant Bobby Meacham. Bench coach Rob Thomson is named the interim manager for the remainder of the year. Also Jean Segura is out for 10-12 weeks with a fractured right finger on an attempted bunt on May 31st. He will need surgery for the injury. On a good note, Zack Wheeler won NL Pitcher of the Month for the month of May.
In the game on the night that Girardi was given the pink slip, the offense exploded. On the first pitch, Kyle Schwarber smashed a home run to dead center field into the greenery. From there, the game became a one-sided home run derby. Bryson Stott slammed his first Major League home run with a three-run blast in the second inning. Bryce Harper blasted his own three run homer in fifth. Both Schwarber and Harper homered again later in the game. Nick Maton tripled in a run in the game. Zach Eflin went eight innings on the mound with six strikeouts on five hits and a walk in the 10-0 rout.
Saturday night was just as explosive. The Phillies wasted no time as they scored five runs in the first. Though the Angels put up a run in the third and fifth innings, Johan Camargo made sure the Phillies stayed ahead. He went 2-for-4 with four RBIs in the game. J.T. Realmuto was 3-for-4, all of his hits were doubles along with his two RBIs with two runs scored. Wheeler was his usual self, striking out nine walks, walking two, giving up two runs in six innings. The Phillies won this one 7-2.
Sunday, the Angels got out in front with a five run inning in the fourth inning, knocking out starter Kyle Gibson. The Phillies would later score two in fifth with RBIs by Nick Castellanos and Realmuto. In the eighth, the Angels were trying to give themselves breathing room with a RBI single by Brandon Marsh. In the bottom half, with the bases loaded on a 3-2 count with two out, Harper became the clutch player the Phils needed with a grand slam to tie the game. Corey Knebel pitched in the ninth and gave up a run to give the Angels the lead again, 7-6. Then the unraveling was complete for the Angels when Bryson Stott went yard in the bottom half to win it for the Phillies with three run blast to have his first walk off hit of his career, winning the game and the sweep 9-7. For the Angels, they would lose their 11th straight game.
With all that has been going on for the Phillies, they have shown what this is supposed to be. A team that is built to hit their way to wins. The firing of Joe Girardi has suddenly lit a fire in the team. As they go on road to play the Milwaukee Brewers on Tuesday, the momentum that they have built is starting to take hold. The schedule works in their favor to make up ground for the month of June. With this team, anything can happen.