- Franco stepped into the batter's box in the fifth inning in a 4-for-32 slump. But he hit a 1-0 curveball from Davies over the left-field wall for a two-run homer to make it 4-1, and he hit a solo homer to left-center against Capuano in the seventh to make it 5-1. They were Franco's third and fourth homers of the season, and the second multihomer game of his career. "I've been in a tough slump," Franco said. "I know it's going to happen. Every single day you're not going to feel good. When you're in a tough moment like that, you have to stay positive and continue to work hard."
- Nola allowed a career-high seven runs in his last start Saturday against the Nationals. But after he allowed a run in the first inning to the Brewers, he settled. Nola allowed four hits, one run, two walks and struck out seven in seven innings. After he allowed a two-out single to in the second, he retired 16 of the final 17 batters he faced. "After the last outing, I felt I really needed to command the baseball inside a lot more," Nola said. "After the first couple innings, I felt like I got more comfortable throwing inside to lefties and righties, especially to lefties tonight. So I think that kind of opened a little more stuff up tonight."
- "I remember his last outing last year. I took him out early in the fifth or sixth inning. I told him, 'We're going to baby you this year. But next year, we're not going to baby you.'" --
- The three runs the Phillies scored in the fifth inning were a season high. They had not scored three or more runs in an inning since they scored four in the seventh inning Oct. 4, 2015, against the Marlins.
Saturday, April 23, 2016
Franco And Nola Wake Up Against Brewers
GAME RECAP: Phillies Hammer Brewers 5-2
homered twice and pitched a seven-inning gem in the Phillies' 5-2 win over the Brewers at Miller Park on Friday night. Nola became the second right-hander in as many days to all but shut down the Brewers' offense. He retired 11 consecutive batters from the second inning to the sixth, one shy of 's best stretch in a Twins win Thursday, and earned his first victory of the season by holding the Brewers to one run on four hits with seven strikeouts. With 30 strikeouts this season, Nola is tied with for the National League lead, trailing only Boston's (32) in the Majors. "I was a little concerned in the first inning," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said. "Nola looked a little shaky at first, then he settled down. He started pitching inside a little more, which made a big difference for him." The Phillies erased a 1-0 deficit with 's shift-beating single in the fourth inning against Brewers starter , then took the lead with a three-run fifth. hit a go-ahead RBI triple before Franco connected against Davies for a two-run home run. Franco homered again in the seventh off , a 426-footer that left his bat at 105 mph, according to . "We've got some starters that are learning on the fly here, so we're working on it," Brewers catcher said. "We're trying to get better every day. Sometimes we're going to make some mistakes and are going to get beat. We have to minimize those mistakes and learn every day and not worry about any of the other stuff."
Phillies right-hander makes his 15th career start against the Brewers on Saturday night at 8:10 p.m. ET at Miller Park. The former Pirates hurler is 4-7 with a 4.17 ERA against Milwaukee. He is 1-3 with a 5.06 ERA in six career starts at Miller Park.
Breaking Out – Maybe this is the jumpstart and the Phillies needed. Franco hit a pair of home runs Friday night in a over the Brewers at Miller Park. He hit a two-run home run to left field in the fifth -- as the Phillies scored a season-high three runs in the inning -- and a solo home run to left-center field in the seventh inning. Both balls left Franco's bat at 105 mph, according to . The homer in the seventh traveled a projected 426 feet, making it the longest Phillies home run this season. "This year, yeah," Franco said, asked if it was one of the longest homers he had hit in a while. Franco was right about that. He hit three homers farther last season. "It was a good pitch to hit," Franco said of a 1-1 slider from Brewers left-hander . "When they make a mistake, I have to put good contact on it." It had been a while since Franco had crushed a baseball, much less two in the same night. He stepped into the batter's box in the fifth inning in a 4-for-32 slump. He had no extra-base hits, no RBIs, one walk and 10 strikeouts since a third-inning double against the Padres on April 13. "I've been in a tough slump," Franco said. "I know it's going to happen. Every single day you're not going to feel good. When you're in a tough moment like that, you have to stay positive and continue to work hard." Franco launched ' 1-0 curveball over the left-field fence in the fifth inning to give the Phillies a 4-1 lead. The solo homer in the seventh gave the Phillies a 5-1 lead. It also gave Franco the second multihomer game of his career. The Phillies spoke to Franco before the game about trying to pull the ball more. Franco likes to work the ball to the opposite field in batting practice, but once the game begins, he sometimes expands the strike zone too much as he tries to send the ball to right field. "When you stay back and try to pull the ball, you don't swing at the bad breaking balls," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said. Franco listened, and it worked. Maybe this is beginning of something good. The Phillies' offense could use it. "When you try to hit the ball the other way and you miss your pitch, middle, middle in, sometimes you're thinking too much," he said. "Today I just went out there and tried to see a good pitch to hit and tried to put good contact on it."
Bouncing Back – This is more like it. Phillies right-hander allowed a run and walked two of the first nine batters he faced Friday night in a over the Brewers at Miller Park. But after he allowed a two-out single to in the second inning, Nola retired 16 of the final 17 batters he faced to earn his first win of the season. Nola allowed four hits, one run, two walks and struck out seven, moving him into a tie with for the National League lead with 30 strikeouts. Nola threw a career-high 105 pitches in the process. He has thrown 95 or more pitches in three of his first four starts this season. He has pitched seven innings three times, too. Compare that to last season. Nola threw 90 or more pitches five times in 13 starts. He pitched seven innings five times. "I remember his last outing last year," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said. "I took him out early in the fifth or sixth inning. I told him, 'We're going to baby you this year. But next year, we're not going to baby you.'" Nola loves the longer leash. "I definitely want to go as long as I can," he said. "I'm glad they're letting me do that. I'm glad I'm going out there and pitching deep into games. That's what I want to do. From here on out, I want to go as deep as I can every outing." Of course, it looked a little shaky early as the Brewers scored a run in the first to take a 1-0 lead. Nola then allowed two baserunners with two outs in the second. But then something happened. "After the last outing, I felt I really needed to command the baseball inside a lot more," he said. "After the first couple innings, I felt like I got more comfortable throwing inside to lefties and righties, especially to lefties tonight. So I think that kind of opened a little more stuff up tonight."
Today In Phils History – There have been several interesting games on this day in Phillies history beginning in 1891 when the Phillies turned a triple play to end the game and secure the 3-1 win over Brooklyn. Another impressive performance happened on this day 70 years later when Art Mahaffey set the franchise record for strikeouts in a single game setting down 17 Cubs in the second game of a double header. 30 years later, Jim Fregosi made his Phillies managerial debut in a 2-1 loss to the Mets. During the 1915 season, the Phillies won their eighth straight game on this day to start the season outscoring opponents during that stretch by 41-10. Most recently, Jayson Werth circled the bases on a 4-base error in a matchup against the Diamondbacks in 2010 which was only the 15th such error of its kind in Major League history. Notable Phillies debuts on this day include Bill Hallman (1888), Dick Ellsworth (1967), Julio Franco (1982), and Chris James (1986). Notable birthdays include Harry Coveleski (1886) and Dolph Camilli (1907).
The Phillies are currently 8-9 this season putting them on pace to meet most preseason predictions. The Phillies finished the spring exceeding most expectations compiling a record of 15-11-3 (18-11-3 if you include the exhibition games against Reading and the University of Tampa). All time, the Phillies are 46-45-1 on this day. I expect the Phillies to finish in the bottom half of the division but not last in the NL East by finishing the season with a 77-85 record. Let the rebuild begin!