Series Recap: Phillies salvage series against Boston

Phillies world series
Philadelphia Phillies’ J.T. Realmuto, right, celebrates his solo homer with Philadelphia Phillies Bryce Harper during the 10th inning in Game 1 of baseball’s World Series between the Houston Astros and the Philadelphia Phillies on Friday, Oct. 28, 2022, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

The Phillies’ nightmare losing streak has concluded. With a win over the Red Sox on Sunday, the Phillies snap their 6-game losing streak and improve to 16-19 on the year.

It wasn’t the best showing from the Phils this year, but the club turned it around on Sunday and headed into an off-day with a win.

Game 1 Recap

Following just an embarrassing series in Los Angeles, the Phillies came home to host the Boston Red Sox. Heading into the series, the Sox had won 6 straight games. The Phillies, having lost their last four, were hoping to flip the script.

We had an excellent pitching matchup to kick things off Friday. Chris Sale and Zack Wheeler would toe the rubber for their teams.

The Red Sox would start off the game with Ramiel Tapia reaching on an error after Kyle Schwarber and Dalton Guthrie could not communicate on a fly ball. Boston would get on the board first, with an RBI single from Rafael Devers.

Boston would then go on to add two more runs in the third.

The Phillies would trail but heading into their half of the fourth; they would get their offense going.

4th Inning Rally

The Phillies would score their only three runs in this game during the bottom of the fourth.

Starting with Bryce Harper, who would reach base via an error, the Phillies took advantage of mistakes from the Red Sox.

Nick Castellanos would double in Harper, getting the Phillies on the board. JT Realmuto would one-up Castellanos by hitting a triple, scoring Nick, and making it 3-2 Red Sox.

Alec Bohm would finish the job and drive in JT with a single. This was the final run the Phillies scored in this one, but it was nice to see their offense put up a solid inning.

Final Thoughts

The Red Sox would win this game 5-3, increasing their win streak to 7, while the Phillies losing streak would fall to 5 games.

Zack Wheeler was good but not great in this game. He was left out to start the 6th, which ended up being the difference in this game. He was taken out for Conor Borgdon, who has not been able to shut the door for the Phillies this season. While the runs count against Wheeler, it would have been really nice to see Conor keep it a one-run game.

The Phillies’ offense failed to score after the 4th inning. It is hard to win a game when you only can put up three, and the Phillies had plenty of chances to score. On the night, the team was 2-11 with RISP and that has been a common theme of the season.

Game 2 Recap

Bailey Falter would find himself pitching on National TV once again Saturday night.

Faced up against veteran Corey Kluber, Bailey would need to step up and be the stopper that he was late in the 2022 season. While the fifth starter shouldn’t have to be the guy to end a losing streak, he had a job to do Saturday night, and he did not deliver.

Faulty 2-Strike Pitching

Saturday’s performance was a really strange outing for Bailey Falter. He was perfect through the first three innings, not allowing a single runner to touch base. But then, in the 4th, it started to go downhill.

Bailey Falter has done a really good job of getting batters into two strikeouts. He is unable to finish those batters, however, and that has really hindered some of his performances.

Falter seemingly lacks an out pitch, which for lack of a better term, means that he doesn’t have that one pitch that he knows will get batters out.

Struggling in two-strike counts is a result of that issue, and the Red Sox took advantage of this. In the fourth and fifth innings, Boston tagged the Phillies’ lefty for five runs and never looked back Saturday night.

Phillies Bailey Falter pitching
Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Bailey Falter throws during the first inning of a baseball game against the Miami Marlins, Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2022, in Miami. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

Final Thoughts

This was another one that got away from the Phillies.

A chance to even the series and end the losing streak was not meant to be, and it was a frustrating watch overall. Falling to 15-19 on the season, the Phillies dropped their 6th straight ballgame.

Going 2-7 with runners in scoring position was just another bad performance with clutch hitting. While you can’t ask for a baseball team to drive in every runner who gets to second or third, you can ask for a team to be more consistent.

Falter wasn’t good, but he is going to stay in the rotation. The Phillies need to figure out something new for Bailey because hitters have him figured out at this level.

Game 3 Recap

Since the Phillies are on the road next weekend, they got a chance to observe Mother’s Day a week early. The Phillies sent the moms home happy, as they finally ended their losing streak and got a win over the Red Sox.

Offense Finally Comes Through

The Phillies finally were able to get runners home in key spots in this game.

Bryson Stott returned to the leadoff spot, which moved Kyle Schwarber to the 5-hole in the lineup. Schwarber drove in 3 runs and hit a second-level blast to rightfield in this one. One of his better games of the season, Kyle really looked comfortable at the plate.

Nick Castellanos hit another double, staying hot and proving that he is once again the guy that the Phillies paid for last off-season. JT Realmuto drove in two runs in this game as well, which was nice to see for the struggling All-Star.

Overall the Phillies drove in 6 runs in this game. Their lineup is starting to click and if they can get Trea Turner rolling, the Phillies can start to rattle off a couple of winning streaks of their own.

No Walks for Walker

Taijuan Walker has signed this off-season to replace Zach Eflin and man the fourth spot in the Phillies rotation. With the injury to Ranger Suarez, Walker had to step into the #3 role and has struggled since becoming a Phillie.

Walker has issued a lot of walks since coming to Philadelphia. Taijuan has not performed well in 2023, but a simplified approach in today’s game against the Red Sox worked well for the veteran. According to Matt Gelb of the Athletic, the Phillies told Taijuan that they wanted him to throw more splitters. He followed instructions and put forth a really nice outing.

For the afternoon, Walker went six innings, allowing three hits, one earned run, and striking out six. He improves to 3-2 on the season and lowers his ERA to 5.97.

Final Thoughts

The win was a huge sigh of relief for the Phillies. The team is now 16-19 and will need to have a good week to get back over the .500 mark. They get an off-day before hosting the Toronto Blue Jays in a short two-game series. Toronto is a great team and one that has World Series aspirations. They have played the Phillies well the last few seasons, so there will be no gimme for the Phils.

It was good to see Realmuto, and Schwarber have a good afternoon at the Bank. The offense, while not necessarily clutch this weekend, was able to produce more runs. If they can get the starting pitching that has been lacking for the majority of this season, the Phillies will win more games.

Ranger Suarez will return to the rotation this weekend in Colorado. A very welcomed addition and hopefully a trend in the right direction for the Phillies moving forward.

AP Photo/Eric Gay