Phillies vs. Angels: Bryce Harper, Kyle Schwarber Homer twice a piece in Rob Thomson’s debut


Phillies vs. Angels: Bryce Harper, Kyle Schwarber Homer twice a piece in Rob Thomson's debut

Rob Thomson was slightly delayed for his first post-match press conference as major league manager on Friday night.

That’s because the Phillies had one of their best games of the season, beating the Los Angeles Angels 10-0, and players ended up wanting to toast their new skipper.

Kyle Schwarber said a few words in the clubhouse and everyone raised a cold soda to Thomson, the 58-year-old baseball lifer who had his first shot when Joe Girardi was fired earlier in the day.

“We had a little celebration and it was good,” Thomson said, sounding like he’d rather not talk about it.

It was an emotional day for the Phillies as Girardi was sacked and Thomson was promoted from bench coach to temporarily manage the club.

If the Phils continue to hit five home runs a night and get the kind of pitching they got from Zach Eflin, Thomson could one day lose the provisional tag.

But that’s way ahead of the game. For now, the Phils need to keep winning and working off the huge deficit they face in the NL East and the league’s wildcard race. There are 110 games left. They are 23-29.

“It’s a sad day,” said Eflin. “Joe is a great man and he’s done a lot of really good things for us. He’s not just a great man, he’s a great baseball man. But at the end of the day we have to play hard every night. This group knows that. We’re very happy for Thoms for giving him a win. We look forward to taking that momentum into the next game.”

Perhaps Girardi’s shot shocked the club. Maybe it was just one of those nights. Anyway, the Phillies, often a weak defensive team, made two stunning plays on the field, scoring big on the plate and sensational pitching from Eflin, who delivered eight shutout innings against a tough Angels club nine losses in a row.

“Our offense kept making runs and I kept making zeros,” Eflin said. “We kind of fed each other.”

“It was a great day in all facets of the game,” said Schwarber, who homed twice, his first coming up the first pitch from bottom. “We have to continue to build on that.”

Bryce Harper was asked if the shot started a fire under the club.

“I thought we went out there and played the game that we were supposed to be playing,” he said. “Hopefully it’s a springboard into the future and a series win.”

Like Schwarber, Homer Harper twice. His Las Vegas homie, shortstop Bryson Stott, was also homered, his first in the big leagues.

Nick Maton, who came up from Triple A when second baseman Jean Segura went down earlier in the week, had his second straight strong game with an RBI triple. He also made a great dive catch behind second base in flat right field. Maton had to leave the game with a sprained right shoulder as a result of hitting the ground. He’s getting an MRI on Saturday. The team hope he won’t be the last player to fall down with an injury. Segura and shortstop Didi Gregorius are already out. Gregorius could be back next week.

Stott and Maton have brought youthful energy to the line-up in the last two games, both wins.

“There was a lot of energy tonight,” Thomson said. “I think part of that was that we came after the day off (Thursday) and part of that is those kids at the end of the lineup. They really spice things up.”

The Phils will look to continue winning for Thomson on Saturday night. They’re facing a team that’s struggling and they’ve got May NL Pitcher of the Month Zack Wheeler on the mound to take on right-hander Michael Lorenzen.

Subscribe to Phillies Talk: Apple Podcasts | Google Play | Spotify | Stapler | Art19 | Watch on YouTube

You May Also Like