Gabe Kapler's risky decision pays off in win vs. Brewers

/ by Corey Seidman
Presented By CureObservations


Gabe Kapler made another move Saturday that would have surely caused an uproar if it backfired ... but it didn't.

With the Phillies up a run and men on second and third with two outs in the top of the sixth, Kapler opted to pinch-hit for a cruising Zach Eflin with Maikel Franco. 

Franco was intentionally walked by Brewers lefty reliever Boone Logan, who then walked 9-hole hitter J.P. Crawford on a borderline 3-2 pitch to bring in a run. Cesar Hernandez followed with an RBI infield single that gave the Phils a 4-1 lead that stood up as the final score.

If Franco or Crawford would have made an out to end the inning, many would be questioning why Kapler yanked Eflin, who had retired 11 of the last 13 hitters he faced.

Eflin pitched another very good game against a very good lineup, allowing just a run on three hits over five innings with six strikeouts. He also picked off Lorenzo Cain and caught Travis Shaw stealing.

While some will still say that Eflin was pulled too early, the move made sense if looked at contextually. The Phillies' offense has been brutal lately and this was a rare run-scoring opportunity. And the Brewers have an elite triumvirate in the bullpen of Josh Hader, Jeremy Jeffers and Corey Knebel. If you don't score in that situation and it remains a one-run game, you're definitely seeing one or more of those relievers and it becomes a whole lot harder to score.


Hoskins delivers

Rhys Hoskins had a powerful and productive game and blasted the hardest-hit ball of his MLB career off Junior Guerra, who had a hilarious reaction.

Another royal inning

It appeared the Phillies were again set to use Seranthony Dominguez for six outs. It would've been the fourth time already he'd gone two innings and his third two-inning save. But after Dominguez stranded two baserunners in a scoreless eighth inning, Kapler turned to Hector Neris for his first save since May 21. 

Up next

The series concludes Sunday at 2:15 p.m. when Aaron Nola (8-2, 2.27) opposes Chase Anderson (5-5, 4.13).

The Phillies have a big starting pitching advantage and could really use a second straight series win. After leaving Milwaukee, the Phils have 14 straight games against teams with a combined winning percentage of .610.

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