Boy, the Phillies like to make things interesting. Philadelphia was unable to sweep the Miami Marlins at home Thursday afternoon, but that didn’t stop the club from making it interesting.
The team took two of three from their division rivals and their record currently stands at a 62-49. Despite Thursday’s loss, they still sit in the middle of the Wild Card race and will take on the New York Mets this weekend.
Wheels keep Rolling
Zack Wheeler may not be in the Cy Young race again this season, but there is no doubt he has proven that he is an ace. Wheeler has become one of the best arms in the game and has led the Phillies’ staff since joining the team in 2020.
Wheeler would keep his strong 2022 campaign rolling, as he took the mound against the Marlins on Tuesday night. Zack was opposed by Braxton Garrett, a young lefty who has shown some promise. This game was considered a must-win in my eyes, as the Phillies clearly had the advantage heading into this game.
The Phillies would get the scoring started early in the first inning. Alec Bohm would reach second on a popup to right field. Second basemen Joey Wendle and right fielder Bryan De La Cruz had a miscommunication on the ball, and it dropped in the outfield. JT Realmuto would step to the plate and knock in Bohm to give the Phils the 1-0 lead.
The Marlins would tie things up in the top of the fourth inning. Pennsylvania native JJ Bleday would take Wheeler deep to tie the game. In the bottom of the inning, the Phillies would strike right back. JT Realmuto would rip a ball to deep left field to give back the lead, bringing in his second RBI of the game.
Two batters later, Jean Segura would follow suit, going deep to make it a 3-1 ballgame. This was Jean’s first homerun since returning off the injured list.
The Phillies would score again later in the game. Alec Bohm would drive in Kyle Schwarber to end the scoring at 4-1. Seranthony Dominguez would just need 7 pitches as he closed the door to conclude Tuesday night’s game.
Comeback of the Year
It seems like the Phillies have a comeback win each season that truly captures the essence of the team. Wednesday night’s come-from-behind win against Sandy Alcantara and the Marlins was the comeback of the season.
The Phillies would face off against Alcantara, a favorite to win the National League Cy Young award. Alcantara has quickly become one of the best in the game, and his dominance this season proves this notion. The right-hander has had one weakness this season, though- the Philadelphia Phillies.
In four starts this season, Sandy is now 1-2 with a 3.03 earned run average. The Phillies have accounted for 2 of the 5 losses suffered by Alcantara this season.
From the first pitch on Wednesday night, it seemed like the Phillies were going to be in an uphill battle. The Marlins were smacking the ball around the ballpark against Noah Syndergaard, who hasn’t looked too sharp in his first two starts as a Phillie. Miami struck first in the second and then tacked on another in the fourth to make it 2-0.
Sandy Alcantara was absolutely dominating the Phillies lineup. His pitch count was low the entire night, and the Phillies didn’t get their first base hit until the fourth inning. Once the 6th inning came around, it was time for the Phillies to get on the board. Kyle Schwarber doubled in Bryson Stott and the Phillies made it 2-1.
The game keep chugging along and the eighth inning rolled around. Marlins’ outfielder JJ Bleday would once again make his presence in this series known, as he ripped an RBI double to knock in Billy Hamilton. This made the score 3-1 and with the way that the Marlins’ ace was throwing, it seemed like game over for the Phillies.
As the bottom of the eighth began, Alcantara was at 71 pitches. The starter with the most innings in baseball this season seemed destined to go the distance.
Jean Segura led off the inning with a swinging bunt. Segura’s hit hardly went through the infield, but it was good enough to get the leadoff man on base. Rookie Bryson Stott would then single off Sandy, and the Phillies would now have two runners on, and nobody out.
Brandon Marsh, a trade deadline acquisition, would come up next. Marsh would single to center field, scoring Segura and moving Bryson Stott to third. The score then became 3-2 and the Phillies were threatening.
Kyle Schwarber was the next batter for the Phillies. Schwarbs would smack a single to right, scoring Stott and moving Marsh to third. The Phillies had tied the game 3-3. Rhys Hoskins would be the next batter. Hoskins would break his bat on a soft lineout to Miguel Rojas at short, but it was just enough to get Brandon Marsh too far off the bag. Rojas would throw out Brandon at third, turning a double play.
With Kyle Schwarber at first and two outs, and up-stepped Alec Bohm. Bohm would single to right and move Kyle to third base. Next up would be JT Realmuto. With a chance to give the Phillies the lead, the best catcher in baseball delivered with an RBI single to right, giving the Phils a 4-3 lead.
Seranthony Dominguez would once again close out the Marlins, and the Phillies would win their seventh straight. They would take the series from the Marlins, bringing the season series to 8 wins and 4 losses.
Thursday’s Trial and Error
The Phillies would finish up their three-game series against the Fish on Thursday afternoon. Kyle Gibson would take the mound for the Phillies and Gibson did not have his best stuff. Joey Wendle tripled to start the game and the bases would be loaded with no outs in the first. Kyle Gibson couldn’t locate his pitches like normal, but he was able to get out of the jam without allowing a run.
The Marlins would strike first and be the only team to score in this one. One run in the second and two more in the sixth would give Miami a 3-to-0 lead. The Marlins were anchored by Edward Cabrera, another young pitcher with potential. The Phillies had no answers for the youngster and Cabrera would finish with 5.2 innings pitched and six strikeouts.
The Phillies only really rally was the bottom of the ninth. The first three batters would reach base to start the inning. Manager Rob Thomson would pinch hit Garrett Stubbs for Edmundo Sosa, which proved to be the wrong move.
Sosa would chase ball four to strikeout, leading to the first out of the inning. Matt Vierling was the next batter but finished with the same result. Vierling would chase an inside pitch that was never a strike, and two quick outs were recorded.
Brandon Marsh would get another chance to play hero for the Phillies in this series. Unfortunately, Marsh would ground out to first base and the game would be over.
The Phillies fell 3-0 in the series finale.
Overall the Phillies went 6-1 on their homestand and had a chance to make it 7-0. The Phils will head to New York to take on the first-place Mets.
The team may be without Kyle Schwarber, who is currently day to day with a groin injury. This series will be huge for the Phillies and taking two of three from New York could swing the momentum in the NL East.
Photo Credit: AP Photo/Matt Slocum