Dodgers News: Evan Phillips Finding Truth In ‘Dad Strength’

Evan Phillips is among the many current and former Los Angeles Dodgers players to welcome a baby into their family this season.

Phillips went on paternity leave April 20, the same day his wife Elizabeth gave birth to their first son, Beau Gray Phillips. He rejoined the team on April 25 after missing four games at Wrigley Field, with a brief stay on the bereavement list as well.

Elizabeth revealed in her Instagram post that Beau was born prematurely and went to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), but the child is healthy and doing well now.

Prior to taking a few days away from the team, Phillips held a 3.86 ERA with eight strikeouts in eight appearances this season. However, three of his runs allowed all came during one game.

Still, Phillips said he didn’t feel like himself. But since returning, he has not allowed a run in eight appearances while striking out 12 hitters.

“Ironically enough, I started feeling like myself after my son was born,” Phillips said after converting a five-out save against the San Diego Padres. “So maybe there’s some truth to that dad strength thing.”

In the series opener against the Padres, Phillips pitched 1.2 shutout innings while giving up just one hit to earn his seventh save of the year.

He entered the game in the eighth inning with runners at the corners before getting Manny Machado to ground into a double play.

“I think it was big to step up in that moment and get Ferg out of that inning,” Phillips said. “He’d just done that job for D. May an inning earlier, so it feels good to come in and get us out of a jam like that.

“Machado is a good hitter. Him and I have had many good at-bats over the past few seasons, and I came out on top this time.”

Evan Phillips believes Dodgers bullpen has made strides

Over the past two weeks, the Dodgers bullpen has pitched to a 2.93 ERA, which is a far better mark than their 4.35 ERA on the season, and Phillips has been the leader of that group as the de facto closer.

“I think top to bottom, all of our guys have made incredible improvements over the course of the first month and some change,” Phillips said. “Whether you guys see it on the field or not, the work we put in every single day sometimes goes unnoticed. But all of our guys, top to bottom, have made incredible strides.”

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