The Philadelphia Phillies and St. Francisco Giants were in a close one before Bryce Harper silenced the crowd with a 3-run shot into the cove in deep right. That gave the Phillies an 8-6 lead in the 7th and they didn’t let go of it. It was the second bomb of the game for Bryce Harper, as he had himself a fine evening against the Giants. The Phillies need Harper to heat up down the stretch and that was one way of doing it Friday night.
He got hot late last season with the Nationals, so maybe he can hit the repeat button and do it again. In the midst of a wildcard race in the National League, it could be the difference between going to the postseason and watching from home in October.
The problem is that we haven’t seen this enough from Bryce. In spots here and there he’s brought out the lumber and looked everything like the $330 million guy the Phillies signed up for. However, for that amount of money, it must happen more often. All would be forgiven if he can take last night and turn it into a momentum booster for the rest of the regular season.
The Mets, Cardinals, and Brewers all won last night so the Phillies don’t move anywhere. They were able to remain a half game back with the win, but don’t get closer to a wildcard. The Arizona Diamondbacks were big winners last night and are just 1.5 games back now.
They erased a 2-0 lead in the 9th and won in extras to steal a victory. They’re not out of it by any means, though their chances are slim compared to the rest who are in the mix currently. Relievers blowing games has been a constant theme this season.
It just has to be accepted as common at this point. Every night bullpens are blowing leads around the majors. Vince Velasquez and Jeff Samardzija will be called upon to start this afternoon in San Francisco. Head below for our free Phillies vs. Giants pick.
Philadelphia Phillies vs. S.F. Giants Pick:
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The Phillies and Giants head into Saturday with a split in this series. The Giants won the opener by a score of 5-0 and then the Phillies finally broke out for an 8-run surge Friday night thanks to Bryce Harper’s big night. It was only the first win for the Phillies in four games.
They were losers in three straight, which included two losses against the Diamondbacks. So, last night was critically important for the Phillies to perhaps get their stroke and confidence back. Conversely, the Giants lost their fifth game in six outings.
Their only win came on the back of a standout performance by Madison Bumgarner on Thursday. The Giants need more than just Bumgarner showing up to pitch if they want to steal a wildcard. Jeff Samardzija has been flying under the radar of late, with some terrific work recently.
He has an impressive 1.12 ERA and 1.06 WHIP in his last three outings. The Giants likely get a nice return for Bumgarner and Samardzija in a trade, but they’re going for the postseason. Down by 4 games in the National League, it’s of course not going to be easy, though.
The Phillies are hitting .242 with 18 runs scored against Samardzija in 227 at-bats. On the other side, Velasquez has been pitching a hot game as well recently. He rides into San Francisco with an ERA of 2.04 and 1.19 WHIP in his previous three contests.
Velasquez has been a dominant force against the Giants in his career, as they are hitting .192 with only 3 runs scored in 52 appearances at the plate. Buster Posey is the only Giant to connect for a long ball on Velasquez. The Phillies are team to ride when they look hot and fade when they’re cold. After seeing the ball well last night, Philadelphia keep pace in the NL Wild Card Game race with a win on Saturday afternoon.