Looks like Bryce Harper is locking back in when Phillies need him most


With three of the first five hitters in their lineup missing with injuries, the Phillies need their top four of Andrew McCutchen, Bryce Harper, Alec Bohm and Didi Gregorius to carry the offense over the final 10 games.

They did just that in the first game of Friday's Phillies-Blue Jays doubleheader. 

Bryce Harper homered for the third time in two games.

Bohm had two more hits and an RBI. His 27 hits in September lead the National League. He's tied with Tim Anderson for the MLB lead this month. The rookie is hitting .325.

Gregorius put the Phillies on the board in the first inning with an RBI double that missed being a three-run homer by about two vertical feet. He had three hits.

McCutchen reached base multiple times and scored a run.

And Zach Eflin gave the Phillies the exact start they needed, particularly with Game 2 being a bullpen game. He pitched a seven-inning "complete game shutout" as the Phils beat Toronto, 7-0. Eflin threw 93 pitches and struck out nine. 

The Phillies broke the game open with five runs in the fifth. Phil Gosselin had an RBI single and Andrew Knapp drove in two with a triple.

Harper's home run was his 11th. He hit two on Friday that traveled nearly 900 combined feet in distance. He's come around this last week, hitting .281 with three doubles, four homers, five RBI, seven runs scored and as many walks (six) as strikeouts.

This is all necessary with Rhys Hoskins (elbow), J.T. Realmuto (hip flexor) and Jean Segura (triceps) out with injuries. Manager Joe Girardi said Realmuto will not play this weekend. He's missed a week. Segura has been their hottest hitter, batting .365 with seven extra-base hits and 10 RBI in his last 15 games.


The Phillies, 4-9 this season in doubleheaders, now go for the sweep. They haven't won both games of a doubleheader since 2012.

The Phils are 25-25 with 10 games to play. They are currently in the eighth and final NL playoff spot, a half-game behind Gabe Kapler's Giants for seventh. 

They are one game behind the Marlins for second place in the NL East. Miami currently occupies the 5-seed.

The Phillies would be better off finishing sixth or seventh rather than fifth. If they finish fifth they face the 32-19 Padres. If they finish sixth or seventh they'll likely draw the Cubs (who have an anemic offense) or a Braves team they split with this season.