August 9th, 2023 will go down as one of the greatest days in Philadelphia Phillies history.
A franchise that dates to 1883, the Phils have a long list of incredible moments. From World Series titles to National League Pennants, perfect games, no-hitters, Hall of Fame inductions, and so on, the Phillies have provided rich lore to the game of baseball.
In what started as a normal game on a Wednesday night, turned into a game for the ages. The Phillies got up on the Nats early, striking for 3 runs in the first inning. This was a good bounce back after the team split their doubleheader on Tuesday.
Those 3 runs would be plenty of support for Michael Lorenzen, who carved his moment in South Philly. The Nationals would not score (or get a hit) and the Phillies would cruise to their 63rd win of the season.
The win was just the tip of the iceberg and stay along with me as I recap the events of last night’s game.
A No-Hitter for Phillies pitcher Michael Lorenzen
A combination of incredible feats happened in last night’s win over the Washington Nationals.
In his first start at Citizens Bank Park as a Phillie, newly acquired starting pitcher Michael Lorenzen tossed a no-hitter. Going the distance, Michael threw 124 pitches to get the job done, which is the most pitches thrown in the majors this season.
The game did not start off with a no-hitter on the brain. Michael Lorenzen even admitted in his post-game interview that he wasn’t expecting to go deep in this game, due to a lack of control early.
As the game progressed, he started to get quick outs. After the completion of 7 innings, the fans really started to get behind Michael’s efforts.
The same momentum followed him after the 8th, where fans would have rioted if manager Rob Thomson hadn’t let him go out there for the 9th inning.
In the 9th, Lorenzen got the first batter to ground out to Alec Bohm at third. The second batter would go down on strikes (after a generous call by the home plate umpire), setting the stage for the final out. Michael would get Dom Smith to fly out to center field, as Johan Rojas put the game away.
Speaking of Rojas, he made 9 putouts in last night’s game.
It was an even more special moment for Michael Lorenzen last night, as the former Detroit Tigers’ mom, wife, and daughter were in attendance to witness baseball history.
He joined the likes of Roy Halladay, Cole Hamels, Robin Roberts, and many more guys who have thrown a no-hitter in a Phils uniform. He was the last Phillie to throw one at Citizens Bank since Roy Halladay no-hit the Reds in the 2010 NLDS.
Michael Lorenzen will never forget August 9th, 2023.
First Impressions Matter
While Michael Lorenzen was throwing the game of his life, it was the big league debut for outfielder Weston Wilson.
Weston Wilson, a 28-year-old minor leaguer, had been called up after the injury to Brandon Marsh just a few days ago. On August 9th, he got the opportunity he has been dreaming for as a kid, and stepped foot on a Major League field for the first time.
Wilson dazzled this past Spring for the Phillies, making a solid impression on a lot of fans. Many remembered the name from Clearwater and fans were excited to see Weston get a chance to live his dream.
After taking the first two pitches of his first career at-bat, Weston was ready to strike. The first swing he had in the big leagues was a memorable one, as he drilled a ball to the seats in leftfield.
Weston Wilson’s family was also in attendance tonight, and they were overcome by the emotions of watching their own make his mark.
Weston Wilson ensured that his big league debut is a moment that he will never forget.
Lost in all of this excitement was the performance that Nick Castellanos gave the Phillies last night.
Nick has been swinging a hot bat in the month of August, and that continued in the first inning, as he hit a 2-run home run to give the Phillies a 3-0 lead.
Later in the game, Nick would get a chance to join that club, driving a ball to the seats, giving the Phillies a (5-0) lead.
Nick’s son Liam was in attendance for this game and made sure to celebrate his dad’s achievement, as well as celebrate along with the Lorenzen and Wilson families.
Castellanos’s 200th home run brings him to 18? On the season. A real bounce back from his 2022 season with the Phils and this version of Nick was the one we had all expected.
It is so great to have his bat facilitating this lineup and the Phillies are going to rely on him heavily for the remainder of the season and hopefully the playoffs.
The Phillies are now 63-52, and 11 games over the .500 mark. They are on pace to win 89 ballgames this season.
With last night’s win, the Phillies are now 4 games up in the National League Wild Card. If the season ended today, they would host Gabe Kapler and the San Francisco Giants in the first round.
After last season’s trip to the World Series, the Phillies have no choice but to make the playoffs. If they can sustain this level of success, it is safe to say we might have another run at Red October this fall.
AP Photo/Matt Slocum