“I’m going to take away all the positive things that we did in the first half and the fact that we are in first place,” Phillies manager Gabe Kapler said yesterday. “We’ve had a really, really spectacular first half. I’m really proud of our guys, and that’s what I’m going to be thinking about, and that’s what I think our clubhouse will think about.”

By Sam Bush

Nobody saw this coming.

It’s only 95 games out of 162, but the Phillies are truly the story of 2018, a year when many thought they would compete for the .500 mark, not be setting in first place.

Yesterday’s 105 loss to Miami dropped their record to 53-42, but 11 games above .500 is still good enough for the top spot in the National League East — a half-game ahead of the Braves.

Enyel De Los Santos started in place of Zach Eflin, who was placed on the 10-day disabled list on Saturday for a blister on his throwing hand, and worked around trouble in the early innings but couldn’t do so again in the fifth.

“I thought De Los Santos pitched well up to the point where he fell apart,” Kapler said.

With the Phillies leading 5-0 in the fifth, the Marlins sent 13 batters to the plate, scoring eight runs on eight hits, including two homers to Cameron Maybin and Brian Anderson. De Los Santos was relieved after surrendering five earned runs and recording just one out in the frame. Edubray Ramos gave up the other three.

“I think I was doing well,” De Los Santos (above) said via the team’s interpreter. “I left some pitches up in the strike zone and they were able to do some damage. But I’m trying to take the positives out of it and keep practicing to try and get better.”

De Los Santos finished the day with a line of 4 1/3 innings, seven hits, one walk and two strikeouts. The 22-year-old right-hander threw 79 pitches in his second big league start.

“I thought he did a good job attacking the zone, working out of some jams early on,” Kapler said. “Overall, solid performance by him, but certainly didn’t go the way we wanted it to.”

The Phillies have won 12 of their last 18 and posted a 21-12 record since June 10.

After finishing last in the division — and 30 games under .500 — in 2017, the Phils are in the postseason hunt in 2018

They have four days to rest and recharge during the All-Star break before returning Friday. As for Kapler’s thoughts on the second half? You guessed it: optimism through and through.

“I think that’s going to feel good for our club,” Kapler said. “Our club needs a break, and this is going to be a good, solid break for us.”

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