The Phillies wrapped up their twelve-game road swing with a series victory over the San Diego Padres.
After splitting the first two games of the four-game set, the Phils managed to hang on and win the final two matchups. Had the club scored on Saturday, we may be talking about an impressive sweep over one of the National League’s best in San Diego.
For the season, the Phillies will take the season series against San Diego four games to three. Down the line, if these clubs are tied for the Wild Card, Sunday’s victory will be a huge benefactor for Philadelphia.
M-V-3 goes down
While the Phillies did leave their West Coast trip with a 7-5 record and a 39-35 record overall, they lost their most valuable player. During Saturday night’s game, Padres starting pitcher Blake Snell lost control of an inside pitch. The ball would run inside on Phillies’ designated hitter Bryce Harper and hit Bryce in the hand. The ninety-seven-mile-per-hour heater from Blake Snell was not intentional, however, it did leave Harper frustrated and in pain.
As we have come to know over the past several seasons in Philadelphia, Bryce Harper is a good guy. Even after fracturing his finger, Bryce was able to calm down and accept the apology from Blake Snell, who has known Bryce since their days playing travel ball.
Bryce Harper will be out for a minimum of four to six weeks. He will miss arguably the biggest two-month stretch of the season and the Phillies are going to have to fight to make the playoffs. However, if the boys in red can stay in the hunt, adding Bryce back to the lineup down the stretch will be huge for the club.
In the meantime, the Phillies will be observing the trade market to find a replacement for Harper. His injury opens the DH spot in Rob Thomson’s lineup, which most likely will be filled by Nick Castellanos primarily moving forward.
Nola on Nola Crime
Aaron Nola had lost the faith of many Phillies fans heading into 2022. After an all-time performance in 2018, the Philly faithful expected Nola to continue to produce Cy Young caliber seasons. Ultimately that was not the case as Aaron struggled for much of 2019-2021. There was hope that Aaron would return to the pitcher he once was, and halfway through the month of June, it is safe to say Aaron Nola is back.
Nola has cruised to a 2.98 earned run average this season. After finishing last season with a 4.63 ERA, the jump to get below the 3.00 mark is incredible to see. Aaron’s last five starts had resulted in Phillies’ wins, which is huge for the ballclub. In 2021, the Phillies would often lose most of Nola’s starts, regardless of how well he pitched. To be able to turn the page on that chapter and move forward has been fun to watch.
The recent dominance and standout performances by Aaron would lead to a Brother versus Brother matchup on Friday night.
With their parents in the stands, Aaron would toe to toe with his brother Austin, one of the Padres’ catchers. Nola would be opposed by MacKenzie Gore, one of the best young arms in the game. Both starting pitchers were brilliant and were shutting down the opposing lineups.
In the sixth inning, however, the game would see its only run scored. With Eric Hosmer on base, Austin Nola would step into the box against his brother. Aaron’s older brother would make him pay, as he ripped a single into right field, driving in the only run of the game.
Aside from one mistake, Aaron Nola was brilliant against the Padres, but due to no run support, he would suffer the loss.
Player of the Month: Kyle Schwarber?
Phillies slugger has been unstoppable
There has been no better hitter in the month of June than Kyle Schwarber. The Phillies’ off-season acquisition started off cold in the months of April and May but since has turned up the heat in June. For the month, Kyle is hitting .283 with ten homeruns and 23 runs batted in.
In the four games against San Diego, Schwarber hit .394 with two homeruns and seven RBIs. Kyle’s three-run bomb would give the Phillies the lead on Sunday, and the club didn’t look back.
AP Photo/Derrick Tuskan