Welcome to the big leagues, Enyel De Los Santos. Keep pitching like you did Tuesday night against the New York Mets and you'll be back soon.
The rookie righthander the Phillies acquired from the San Diego Padres for shortstop Freddy Galvis in the offseason picked up his first major-league win in his debut by holding the Mets to three runs on five hits in 6 1/3 innings. He struck out six and walked three as the Phils beat the Mets, 7-3. De Los Santos was optioned back to triple-A Lehigh Valley after the game, but at the very least, he has applied some pressure on Vinny Velasquez and Nick Pivetta, the two most inconsistent starters in the Phillies rotation. Velasquez will return from the disabled list Wednesday night and try to pitch the Phillies to a series victory over the Mets, who will send ace Jacob deGrom to the mound.
Maikel Franco remained the Phillies' hottest hitter, slugging a three-run homer in the second inning that gave his team the lead for good. The third baseman is hitting .440 since being placed in the eighth spot in the batting order eight games ago. Will he stay there? Manager Gabe Kapler said he was not sure after his team took over sole possession of first place in the N.L. East following Atlanta's loss to Toronto.
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Phillies left fielder Rhys Hoskins had been wearing a double-flapped helmet since returning from the disabled list June 9, but he went to the more traditional one-flap model for Tuesday's game. The dual-flap helmet was designed to help protect the fractured jaw that sent him to the disabled list after he batted a ball off his face May 29 against the Dodgers in Los Angeles.
In his first game without the flap, it appeared as if Hoskins might have suffered another facial injury when he went face first into the left-field wall trying to track down a triple off the bat of the Mets' Amed Rosario in the bottom of the third inning. He did not catch the ball, but he did avoid another injury.
"As soon as I figured out I was OK when I hit the wall and threw the ball back in, [the jaw] was the first thing I thought of," Hoskins said. "Like 'Oh my God, is my jaw OK?' But, yeah, I'm fine. I saw a replay during the game, and I thought it was every part of graceful and athleticism put together. No, honestly, I laughed when I saw it. Obviously, thank God I'm OK."
Hoskins was examined by team trainer Scott Sheridan after the play. Earlier in the day, he had been cleared by doctors to go to the single extended flap that protects only the left side of his face.
"Felt like a big-leaguer again," Hoskins said.
He contributed three hits and scored a run for the Phils. Hoskins is batting .296 with eight homers and 28 RBIs in 29 games since coming off the DL.
Enyel De Los Santos was originally scheduled to start the triple-A all-star game tonight in Columbus, Ohio. But instead, he made his major-league debut last night and got his first victory. Our Matt Breen described how special that was for the rookie righthander.
Columnist David Murphy believes the Phillies need another starting pitcher more than they need Manny Machado in the middle of their batting order.
Tom Eshelman went into the 2018 season as one of the Phillies' top pitching prospects at triple-A Lehigh Valley after a strong 2017. But this season has been a mighty struggle, especially with his command. Eshelman, 1-7 with a 6.32 ERA in 17 starts, told our Mitchell Gladstone he hopes his struggle makes him stronger in the future.
Tonight: Velasquez vs. deGrom, 7:10 p.m.
Tomorrow: Nick Pivetta pitches makeup game in Baltimore, 6:05 p.m.
Friday: Jake Arrieta vs. Wie Yin-Chin in Miami, 7:10 p.m.
Sunday: Final game before the all-star break vs. Miami, 1:10 p.m.
Tuesday: All-Star Game at Nationals Park in Washington, 8 p.m.
Yes, the Phillies last week played a 4-hour and 30-minute game against Washington, the longest nine-inning game in franchise history, but six of their last eight games have been played in less than three hours and that's all we ask in this age when games seem to take forever. Through Monday, the average time of game in baseball has been 3 hours and 4 minutes, down four minutes from last year. The average Phillies game has lasted 3 hours and 10 minutes, tied for the sixth longest in baseball with the New York Yankees. For the record, the Phillies are 23-15 when they play in less than three hours and 28-24 when they play games in more than three hours.
Lots of discussion these days about how to speed up the game of baseball, from the length of video replays to the time elapsed between pitches. Truth of the matter is that with every team utilizing the bullpen as they do, the time between pitching changes is the main culprit. And, it will continue to be the major cause for 4-hour-plus games. What is your opinion?
Bill D, via email
Answer: Thanks for the question, Bill, and for reading the newsletter. If you have a solution to these long games, you should send it to commissioner Rob Manfred in New York. He might immediately give you a six- or even seven-figure salary.