Phillies vs. Angels: Bryce Harper and Kyle Schwarber hit twice each on Rob Thomson’s debut

Phillies vs. Angels: Bryce Harper and Kyle Schwarber hit twice each on Rob Thomson’s debut

Rob Thomson was slightly delayed to attend his first post-match press conference as a major league manager on Friday night.

That’s because the Phillies had one of their best games of the season when they scored a 10-0 win over the Los Angeles Angels and when it was over the players wanted to raise a little toast to their new captain.

Kyle Schwarber said a few words in the clubhouse and everyone raised a cold adult drink to Thomson, the 58-year-old lifer who had his first hit to deal with when Joe Girardi was fired earlier during the day.

“We had a little celebration and it was nice,” Thomson said, seeming to prefer not to talk about it.

It was an emotional day for the Phillies with the departure of Girardi and the departure of Thomson from the bench coach to lead the club on an interim basis.

If the Phils keep hitting five home runs a night and getting the kind of pitching they got from Zach Eflin, Thomson could lose the interim tag one day.

But it gets ahead of the game. For now, the Phils need to keep winning and reduce the huge deficit they face in Eastern Newfoundland and the league’s wildcard race. There are 110 games left. They are 23-29 years old.

“It’s a sad day,” Eflin said. “Joe is a great man and he’s done a lot of really good things for us. Not only is he a great man, he’s a great baseball player. But at the end of the day, we have to play hard every night This group knows We are extremely happy for Thoms to have allowed them to win and we can’t wait to build on that momentum in the next game.

Maybe Girardi’s shot shocked the club. Maybe it was just one of those nights. Either way, the Phillies, often a mediocre defensive team, put up two stunning plays on the field, got some big hits at home plate and a sensational pitch from Eflin, who went eight shutout innings against a Angels club which has had a difficult time with nine consecutive defeats.

“Our offense kept getting runs and I kept putting in zeros,” Eflin said. “We were kind of feeding each other.”

“It was a great day in every facet of the game,” said Schwarber, who homered twice, his first coming on the first pitch from the bottom of the first. “We have to keep building from that.”

Bryce Harper was asked if the shot started a fire under the club.

“I thought we went there and played the game we were supposed to play,” he said. “Hopefully it’s a stepping stone to tomorrow and a series win.”

Like Schwarber, Harper hit two homers. His Las Vegas pal, shortstop Bryson Stott, also homered, his first in the big leagues.

Nick Maton, who came on from Triple A when second baseman Jean Segura went down earlier in the week, had his second straight solid game with an RBI triple. He also made a great diving catch behind second base in a shallow right field. Maton had to leave the match with a sprained right shoulder following his impact with the ground. He will have an MRI on Saturday. The team hopes he is not the last player to get injured. Segura and shortstop Didi Gregorius are already out. Gregorius could be back next week.

Stott and Maton have brought youthful energy to the roster the past two games, both wins.

“There was a lot of energy tonight,” Thomson said. “I think part of that was us leaving on the day off (Thursday) and part of that is those kids at the bottom of training. They really spice things up.”

The Phils will look to continue winning for Thomson on Saturday night. They face a struggling team and they have Zack Wheeler, the NL pitcher of the month for May, on the mound to oppose right-hander Michael Lorenzen.

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