Phillies

Phillies are 5-1 because their offense is relentless

Phillies are 5-1 because their offense is relentless

Four hours before the scheduled first pitch, Phillies officials were strongly considering postponing Friday night’s game and playing a separate-admission doubleheader on Saturday. That’s how bad the weather forecast was.

The Phils rolled the dice that they could get the game in and it paid off. Yes, it was cold. Yes, it was wet. Yes, it was downright miserable. But everyone left happy when the Phils scored a 10-4 win over the Minnesota Twins at Citizens Bank Park (see observations).

“It was really rough out there,” manager Gabe Kapler said. “It was cold. And it was just a consistent wet. I know the outfielders were having some trouble seeing the ball.”

The teams played through a relentless rain for the first five innings.

And you know what else was relentless?

The Phillies’ offense.

Check it out: The Phils have played six games. They are 5-1. They have scored at least eight runs five times and reached double digits twice. Not since 1898, when Ed Delahanty and Nap Lajoie were smacking it around for the local nine, have the Phils opened a season by scoring at least five runs in each of their first six games.

“(Bench coach) Rob Thomson and I were talking about it on the bench,” Kapler said. “He looked at me toward the end of the game and he said, 'Man, this offense can grind you down.' That's a good description of what our guys have done thus far.”

The Phillies’ ability to score runs has started with the way they are seeing pitches, wearing down pitchers and getting on base. They are averaging over 6.5 walks per game. They had nine on Friday night. They saw 192 pitches, including 36 from Minnesota starter Jake Odorizzi. The Phils knocked Odorizzi out in the first inning and that’s always a good way to start a three-game series because of the effect it can have on an opponent’s bullpen.

“The story tonight is 192 pitches,” Kapler said. “The league average is 140-ish. That's what we've done the entire season. We've grinded down pitchers. We've gotten big hits. It's the deep counts. It's the walks. It's the great at-bats that have carried us thus far.”

Cleanup hitter Rhys Hoskins had a big game with three singles, a walk and four RBIs. He personally saw 36 pitches.

No opposing starting pitcher has gone more than five innings against this Phillies’ offense.

“That’s very encouraging,” Hoskins said. “We had a lot of that last year, too, especially towards the beginning. We also brought in some pretty good hitters, especially Andrew McCutchen at the top, taking at-bats like he does, leading off a game, leading off an inning, and it’s pretty contagious.

“Our lineup is just really deep. Guys are taking professional at-bats every time through a lineup and that wears on a pitcher. You take walks. Good things usually happen when you have guys on base all the time.”

And on the bases, these Phillies are aggressive.

For instance, Hoskins had a rare three-run single in the seventh inning, all because Bryce Harper capitalized on some slow play in the Minnesota outfield and scored from first base.

If Hoskins finishes with 100 RBIs, he can thank Harper for being aggressive.

“That was outstanding,” Hoskins said. “We had great base running all game. That’s just baseball instincts. You can’t teach that. I asked (third base coach) Dusty Wathan if he sent him and he didn’t. That was just all Bryce. It was fun in all facets of the game today.”

Hoskins needed to have some fun. He made a costly eighth-inning error in Wednesday’s one-run loss at Washington. Without that error, the Phillies might be 6-0.

But 5-1 ain’t too shabby.

“That’s baseball,” Hoskins said. “The beautiful part about this game is you usually get put in the same situations right away. So being able to have a short memory helps. All I was thinking about was today and a new opportunity.”

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Philadelphia native Mike Koplove emerges as strong candidate for Phillies' scouting director job

Philadelphia native Mike Koplove emerges as strong candidate for Phillies' scouting director job

The Phillies have two huge job openings to fill in their baseball operations department.

Obviously, they are looking for a new manager, and that process ramped up on Monday.

The team also needs to fill the important scouting director’s role. That job opened when Johnny Almarez stepped down in September.

The search for a new scouting boss is being led by assistant general manager Bryan Minniti and it is apparently well underway.

According to multiple major league sources, the Phillies have conducted a number of recent interviews for the position. Among those to interview are in-house candidates Greg Schilz, Mike Koplove and Darrell Conner.

Outside candidates, according to sources, include David Crowson of the Miami Marlins, Sam Hughes of the Chicago Cubs, Brian Barber of the New York Yankees, Dan Ontiveros of the Kansas City Royals and Scott Meaney of the Cleveland Indians. All have high-ranking scouting positions with their organizations.

It’s possible that there are other candidates or more will emerge. But these are the names being talked about in baseball circles at the moment.

Schilz ranked No. 2 in the Phillies’ amateur scouting staff behind Almaraz. He joined the club in the fall of 2016 after 12 years with the Pittsburgh Pirates and was elevated to assistant scouting director in the fall of 2017.

Koplove is an interesting candidate. He is a Philadelphia native who pitched at Chestnut Hill Academy and the University of Delaware before spending parts of seven seasons in the majors with Arizona and Cleveland. He earned a World Series ring with the Diamondbacks in 2001.

Koplove spent six seasons on the scouting staff of the Anaheim Angels before joining his hometown team as a special assignment scout prior to the 2018 season.

Conner is a longtime Phillies scout who has risen to the role of national scouting coordinator. He was influential in identifying Cole Hamels as having first-round potential and staying on the pitcher after he broke his left arm the summer after his sophomore year.

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At The Yard podcast: Phillies' manager search could be quick

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At The Yard podcast: Phillies' manager search could be quick

Jim Salisbury and Corey Seidman discuss the Phillies' managerial search, which began in earnest Monday, on the latest At The Yard podcast.

• Phillies' busy day Monday in New York with Showalter & Girardi.

• Are inexperienced managers definitely out of the conversation?

• Why the fan preference is definitely Girardi.

• Is Phillies job better than Mets job? Better than Cubs job?

• What to make of Gabe Kapler immediately getting 2 interviews.

• Odubel Herrera's future.

• Phillies' future at 2B

• Why we might see a stop-gap third baseman in 2020.

Subscribe and rate At The Yard:
Apple Podcasts / Google Play / Spotify / Stitcher / Art19

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Phillies