Following a series sweep against the Chicago Cubs, the Phillies were holding out for a hero. The club welcomed the Atlanta Braves to town on Monday night and needed a big win against their division rivals.
Have a Little Faith Phillies fans
Left-handed pitcher Max Fried would start the game for Atlanta in the first of three matchups between the two teams. In response to the young lefty, Phillies skipper Rob Thomson would favor a right-handed lineup to start the game.
With both Didi Gregorius and Bryson Stott being left-handed batters at shortstop, Thomson opted to go with the rookie. This is a move that would have never happened under Joe Girardi’s watch. Stott would reward his manager for the faith that he bestowed upon him and start the scoring for the Phillies.
Coming Up Clutch
With two outs in the second, Bryson hit what should have been an inning-ending grounder to first base. Matt Olson, one of the better defensive first basemen in the league, thought nothing of the soft chopper heading his way. A lucky break finally struck for the Phillies, as the ball would die down to the dirt instead of bouncing into Olson’s mitt. The ball would go by, and two runs would come across to score on Bryson’s eighth double of the season.
Those two runs would start the scoring for the Phils. In the third inning, JT Realmuto would single home Matt Vierling to then tie the game. After the Braves took the lead back in the sixth, the Phillies’ offense could not take advantage of runners in scoring position.
With 2 outs in the bottom of the eighth inning, Bryson would have another chance to play hero. Working veteran lefty AJ Minter into a full count, Stott would come through yet again.
A Swing and A Drive
A deep drive to left field would make this a six-to-four ballgame. Very similar to the home run against the Angels, Stott once again came through in a big spot for the team. His five runs batted in would account for nearly every run scored in the game by the Phillies.
The young lefty’s stats might not show it, but Bryson Stott has improved at the plate over the course of this season. While home runs have come few and far between, Bryson sure knows how to pick his spots.
It seems like everyone on this Phillies team has had their moment to shine this season. The team has been able to come through in the clutch time and time again in 2022, but they can’t afford to always rely on hero ball.
Bryson Stott stepped up when the team needed him to. Tuesday’s game may call on someone else to step up for the team. The Phillies need to continue to cash in with runners in scoring positions and not let games get away from them. Better defense and cleaner all-around baseball must continue if this team wants to play meaningful games in October.
Photo Credit: AP Photo/Matt Rourke