Maybe this was the game that will get Odubel Herrera going.

"Hopefully it's going to start something good," the Phillies centerfielder said after hitting the ball hard several times in a 5-3 win over the San Francisco Giants on Saturday (see game story).

Herrera doubled twice and smoked a long fly ball out to center field. He did not play Friday night — the Phillies' first game in June — after hitting .183 (20 for 109) with a .190 on-base percentage and a .257 slugging percentage in May.

The Phillies tied Saturday's game at 1-1 on a homer by Tommy Joseph in the sixth. They took the lead on a hit by Freddy Galvis in the seventh and tagged on three more on a booming bases-loaded double by Herrera. The three RBIs matched Herrera's total from his previous 23 games.

"I keep making adjustments," said Herrera, who is still looking for consistency.

What Herrera is not looking for is a way to punctuate occasions of good contact at the plate. His big-air bat flip is in mid-season form. The hang time would make Ray Guy proud. (Kids, look him up.)

Herrera flipped his bat on a long fly out in the first inning. He did it again — emphatically — on his three-run double to center in the seventh.

"The best!" Herrera said with a big smile when asked where the bat flip ranked on his personal list.


Herrera's three-run double came against Giants reliever Hunter Strickland, who was in the news earlier in the week for plunking and brawling with Washington's Bryce Harper. The seeds of that incident were planted in 2014 when Harper took Strickland deep twice in the playoffs and did a little too much admiring of his work for Strickland's liking.

Herrera did not realize that Strickland was the same guy that hit Harper until he got back to the dugout and was told by Andres Blanco.

"I guess he was looking out for me," Herrera said of Blanco.

Herrera said his bat flips are not meant to show up the pitcher.

"I’m sure that some pitchers may find it offensive, but I’m not trying to offend anyone," he said with the assistance of Diego Ettedgui, the team's Spanish language interpreter. "That’s just the way I am and that’s the way I’m going to play."

Someday, Herrera may run into a pitcher that not only finds his antics offensive but who also does something about it, as well.

Fastball, meet ribs.

That's just the reality of it all.

So, in a way, Herrera risks injury when he flips the bat.

But he's unafraid of that. And he's going to continue to do it.

"Of course, it worries me a little bit," he said. "I don’t want to get drilled.

"But I’m not going to change the way I play. If I get hit, I’m just going to have to rub it."