By Sam Bush
There is no getting around it.
Maikel Franco is in Philly to stay and the Phillies are the beneficiaries.
Franco went 3-for-4 with one double and three RBIs in Tuesday’s 6-5 loss to the Rockies at Coors Field. Franco doubled and scored in the second inning, singled to plate the tying run in the third inning and singled to score two runs to tie the game in the eighth inning. He is hitting .350 (7-for-20) with one double, one triple, one home run and five RBIs in five games.
Franco set career-highs in hits and RBIs Tuesday.
“He had a heck of a game at the plate,” Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said.
But Franco also made a very costly error in the first inning which led to the Rockies scoring three unearned runs against Phillies right-hander Aaron Harang. Troy Tulowitzki hit a ground ball to third and Franco fielded the ball cleanly, but threw high to first baseman Ryan Howard. The ball tipped over Howard’s glove, allowing Tulowitzki to reach safely.
“Just a bad throw,” Franco said. “But I know what I’m doing wrong. Just one mistake. Everybody makes mistakes.”
“We talked to him about playing a little too deep, generally speaking,” Sandberg said. “The ground balls were getting to him so he had to rush it.”
If Franco continues to hit like this and he makes that adjustment at third base, he could be a big boost to the Phillies’ lineup moving forward. In fact, he already has.