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Phillies Beat the Padres 8-5 Despite the Absence of Bryce Harper!
Even though they were still upset about Bryce Harper’s sudden departure, the Phillies were able to get their act together enough to beat the Padres.
SAN DIEGO — When Bryce Harper missed a few games at the end of the Dodgers series in Los Angeles in mid-May after getting an injection to treat the torn ligament in his right elbow, Kyle Schwarber noticed something. The Phillies were pressing. Hitters were trying to be someone they were not — Bryce Harper — and they were failing.
The Phillies won their first three games in Los Angeles, but then they lost their next five. Harper came back on May 21, but Schwarber thought it was time to talk.
“We saw some reaching,” he said. “We all talked about it. Let’s just take care of what’s in front of us.”
Now, the Phillies are in a situation they’ve been in before, but this time they’re doing a good job of getting back on track. Harper’s left thumb was broken when a 97 mph fastball hit him in the hand. It has only been 14 innings since then, but the Phillies have made the most of them. In that time, the offense scored 12 runs. Only one runner has made it to second base thanks to the bullpen.
Since they lost Harper for good, the Phillies have won two straight games against the Padres, who are a tough team. On Sunday, when they beat them 8-5, everyone in the lineup helped. Nick Castellanos had four singles and a double. Schwarber hit titanic home runs, which is what he does in June, and the young players like Bryson Stott, Garrett Stubbs, Alec Bohm, and Matt Vierling all drove in runs.
The difference, according to Schwarber, is that players aren’t trying to be Harper. They are trying to be themselves, which Schwarber believes is more than good enough.
“Bryce is his guy,” he said. “[injured second baseman Jean] Segura is his guy. No one can be them. We just have to be the best versions of ourselves and I think that’s the message we’re trying to relay, especially to some of the younger guys, who haven’t seen guys go down before. They don’t have to go out there and do it all in one swing or one defensive play. We just have to take it a step at a time and focus on what’s in front of us at a moment, rather than reach for something more.