Phillies win sloppy game against Cardinals, 4-3

Philadelphia Phillies catcher J.T. Realmuto (10) and relief pitcher Jeff Hoffman celebrate a 4-3 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals in a baseball game Wednesday, April 10, 2024, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

It was a rainy afternoon in St. Louis on Wednesday for the final game of the Phillies-Cardinals series, and both teams and umpires had to grit through the conditions. Umps were dancing, velocities were down, and the grounds crew was working overtime.

Road Warriors

Philadelphia Phillies’ Brandon Marsh heads to first after hitting an RBI single off St. Louis Cardinals relief pitcher Andre Pallante, left, during the sixth inning of a baseball game Wednesday, April 10, 2024, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

The Phillies were able to secure the victory in today’s game for many reasons that we will get to shortly, but the victory was bigger than just one game. This secured a winning record on their opening road trip, finishing 4-2 against the Cardinals and Nationals – their first opening road trip with a winning record since 2011! There were some lean years mixed in that stretch, but that seems almost impossible. They have now won back-to-back series.

Now to today’s contest – the Phillies were able to secure the victory through solid pitching from starter Aaron Nola, some opposite-field hits from a team that isn’t slugging as one would expect, and a heads-up play on defense from Bryson Stott and Alec Bohm.

Phillies/Cardinals game recap

Philadelphia Phillies’ J.T. Realmuto follows through on a single during the sixth inning of a baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals Wednesday, April 10, 2024, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

Philadelphia got the scoring started early on an error with two outs by Cardinals center fielder Victor Scott II (more on him in a minute), who turned the wrong way when chasing after a fly ball hit by JT Realmuto and allowed Kyle Schwarber to score. Instead of the inning-ending, Alec Bohm came through with a clutch hit to knock in Realmuto to make it 2-0 after the opening half-inning.

In the 6th inning, Philly added two more runs to take the lead they would not surrender. Although the team isn’t hitting for power as fans would hope, they tacked on the two additional runs with hits from Realmuto, Brandon Marsh, and Nick Castellanos – all opposite-field hits – to get the lead up to 4-2. Hitting the ball where it’s pitched was a focus during Spring Training for the entire lineup and is a good sign for an offense that has struggled to get going in the early part of the season.

Starting pitcher Aaron Nola was solid throughout his six innings but did allow two solo home runs – one in the second and one in the third. This is a trend that has carried over from last season, as Nola has now allowed 36 home runs since the beginning of the 2023 season. He settled in and only allowed one other hit, walked 3 Cardinals, and struck out 3 on the day.

During Phillies Postgame Live – Rob Thomson spoke about how everyone’s velocity was down, mostly due to the weather and likely because pitchers were trying not to slip. Nola gave way to Matt Strahm, Gregory Soto, Seranthony Dominguez, and eventually Jeff Hoffman, who came in and secured the save for Philadelphia.

Soto did struggle a bit, surrendering the only other run St. Louis put on the board. He threw 22 pitches, 11 strikes, and 11 balls. If not for the previously noted heads-up play from Stott and Bohm to get an extra out in the eighth inning – the Cardinals likely would have tied things up. The Cardinals led off the bottom of the eighth inning with what appeared to be an infield single from the aforementioned Scott II.

However, he took some hard steps towards second base and the Phillies second baseman noticed right away. He motioned to Alec Bohm, who quickly threw the ball over to Harper, who tagged Scott for the first out of the inning. Scott looked confused as his head was down, and he removed his gloves and began heading back to first base. Nolan Arenado would later come up with an RBI single that would have scored 2 had Scott still been on base.

Seranthony had allowed the single but earned a hold for his 0.1 IP. Hoffman would surrender a single hit in the ninth but ultimately only needed seven pitches to lock down his first of the season.

What’s up next for the Phillies?

Pittsburgh Pirates’ Bryan Reynolds crosses home plate after hitting a solo home run off Detroit Tigers relief pitcher Tyler Holton during the sixth inning of a baseball game in Pittsburgh, Monday, April 8, 2024. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

The Phillies return home tomorrow after a successful road trip to kick off a ten-game home stand. They will face the Pittsburgh Pirates for a four-game series over the weekend before welcoming Colorado to town. They cap off their homestead with an inter-league matchup against the Chicago White Sox.