Phillies

Phillies 9, Padres 6: Jay Bruce and Jerad Eickhoff stop the losing skid

Phillies 9, Padres 6: Jay Bruce and Jerad Eickhoff stop the losing skid

SAN DIEGO — The Phillies needed a stopper Tuesday night.

They got two of them.

Jerad Eickhoff delivered a quality start and newcomer Jay Bruce drove in six runs with a two-run homer and a grand slam to help the Phillies end a season-high five-game losing streak with a 9-6 win over the San Diego Padres at Petco Park.

The Phils hit four homers.

The victory came just hours after the Phillies learned that leadoff man Andrew McCutchen was lost for the season with a torn ACL in his left knee.

The win was the Phillies’ first on the road trip. They had lost the previous four, three in Los Angeles and one in San Diego. The victory allowed the Phils to remain a half-game up on second-place Atlanta in the NL East.

The Phils are 34-27.

The keys

• Eickhoff had been hit hard in his previous four starts. He gave up 25 hits and 17 earned runs in 18 1/3 innings over that span. He was a lot better in this one. He signature curveball was effective and he seemed to deliver his fastball with more authority. He went six innings and gave up four hits and three runs. He walked none and struck out five. It was a much-needed quality start.

• The offense finally came alive.

The Phillies scored just eight runs while hitting .168 (21 for 125) in the first four games of the trip. They erupted for 13 hits in this game and scored nine runs. They had seven extra-base hits, matching their total from the previous four games.

Bruce clubbed homers in the fourth and fifth innings. He also had a double. His grand slam in the fifth was the ninth of his career.

• Scott Kingery played a brilliant game on both sides of the ball.

A new third baseman?

Kingery made his second straight start at third base in place of slumping Maikel Franco.

Before the game, manager Gabe Kapler said, “Scott will get a look at third base for a little bit.”

Kingery might be seizing the job. He had a big game at the plate with an RBI double and a booming solo homer to left. He also made several nice defensive plays, including a highlight-reel dive and throw across the diamond in the fourth inning.

Franco came off the bench with a pinch-hit homer in the eighth.

Seranthony looks good

The Padres did some damage against rookie reliever Edgar Garcia in the eighth to make it a three-run game. Seranthony Dominguez came on and restored order with a pair of strikeouts and a fly ball with a man on first. Dominguez was dominant with a 98-mph heater.

Hector Neris got the save.

Surviving the loss

Before the game, Kapler talked about how the team would handle the loss of McCutchen.

Up next

The series and the road trip come to an end on Wednesday afternoon. Jake Arrieta (5-5, 3.96) pitches against San Diego rookie right-hander Cal Quantrill (1-2, 5.14).

Quantrill’s dad, Paul, pitched for the Phillies in 1994 and 1995.

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Joe Girardi and John Kruk relive their painful introduction

Joe Girardi and John Kruk relive their painful introduction

One of the first things Joe Girardi brought up during his introductory press conference as Phillies manager back in October was a bittersweet memory about John Kruk. 

Kruk, a three-time All-Star with the Phils, bowled Girardi over during a collision at home plate in the summer of 1991. Girardi held on for the out but his nose was broken. 

It’s the kind of violent play you’d never see again. Home-plate collisions have been outlawed in MLB since 2014. Colloquially, it’s referred to as the Buster Posey rule. Posey’s left leg was broken in 2011 when the Marlins’ Scott Cousins collided with him at home plate.

That play in 1991 didn’t lead to any kind of beef between Girardi, then a catcher for the Cubs, and Kruk. In fact, Kruk was one of the first people to contact Girardi while Girardi was in the hospital. 

"The bill of his helmet hit my nose, so that was my introduction to John Kruk,” Girardi told the Phils’ announcers during the Phillies-Pirates game Sunday on NBC Sports Philadelphia.

"If I'm not mistaken, being the sweetheart of a guy he was, you either called me when I was in the hospital or you came and saw me when they were examining my nose. I think I got a couple of stitches."

Kruk remembers it well.

"I didn't like many people, Joe., but you were actually one of them I did like,” Kruk said. “That's why I called you. If it was ... well I'm not going to name any names, some other catchers, I wouldn't have called them. I just enjoyed competing against you."

It’s all love, but they won’t be reenacting that experience any time soon.

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Watch Phillies fans' hilarious live reaction to seeing the 'new' Phanatic for first time

Watch Phillies fans' hilarious live reaction to seeing the 'new' Phanatic for first time

The Phillie Phanatic and his "new look" took flight for the first time on Sunday and, well, let's just say he didn't reach great heights.

Fans across the Philadelphia area were understandably shook by the changes to the Phanatic's look. I think it's safe to say most fans did not react positively to the changes. Just take a look at the responses to the above tweet for a sampling.

The Phanatic did have a few defenders, however, like his furry pal from across Pattison Avenue and current It Boy, Gritty.

Pretty much everyone had a strong reaction to the scales, the eyebrows, and most definitely the newly-accented tail.

But not everyone went the to great lengths like comedian and Phillies fans Paul F. Tompkins and Christine Nangle who did a 10-minute breakdown in their most natural Philly accents that included their reactions to seeing the new look for the first time.

It's a wide-ranging reaction, complete with tears at at least one point.

"They said it was going to be, like, an evolution but this seems like more than an evolution, you know," Tompkins said.

"Like he's in there, I can see him, but if I met him and had not said to me that's his cousin, I'd be like..." Nangle added.

The duo attempted to put their feelings into terms we can all understand.

"It's like you're walking down South Street," Tompkins said. "You know what, I haven't been to Jim's in a while, I'm gonna go in there, and then you order a whiz wit and then what you get is, like, what everybody else thinks a cheesesteak is where it's, like, provolone and green peppers on it. You know what I mean? That's what this feels like to me."

"That makes a hundred percent sense. That's a beautiful way to say it," Nangle responded.

They both come to a similar conclusion to what feels like the consensus in Philly right now.

"If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

For more on the Phanatic's new look, check out our piece from yesterday.