Series Recap: Phillies Split 4-Game Series Against Reds

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Philadelphia Phillies’ Brandon Marsh hits a run-scoring single against Chicago White Sox pitcher Nick Nastrini during the first inning of a baseball game, Sunday, April 21, 2024, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Philadelphia sports are having a big day today with baseball, playoff basketball, and a football draft all coinciding. The Phillies had the honor of kicking things off for the Philly sports fan, and they left fans happy with a 5-0 victory over the Cincinnati Reds.

The Fightin Phils split their four game series with the Reds. With Thursday’s victory, they avoiding their first series loss since the first time they faced Cincinnati back on April 3 at Citizens Bank Park. They have now won or tied in their last 6 series after losing their first 2. Philly is now 6 games above .500, having gone 8-2 in their last 10 games. The dominant starting pitching continued through the trip to Cincinnati – let’s see how we made in through the series.

Today’s Phillies Action

Let’s start with today’s finale that saw Opening Day starter Zack Wheeler toe the rubber looking to follow up his impressive performance from last week with a series saving outing. Wheeler was cruising early, only throwing 19 total pitches through the first two innings. The third was a 34 pitch struggle, but the Phillies ace was able to battle out with two strikeouts and some great defense from Nick Castellanos.

Wheeler would only give up one hit on the day through his 6 innings, finishing with 4 walks and 8 strikeouts, lowering his season ERA to 1.93.

On offense, the Phillies also had a big third inning, as they scored 4 of their 5 runs in that frame. They got it done in several ways – Bryson Stott tripled to knock in Castellanos before being brought home by a Kyle Schwarber sac fly. Treat Turner continued his hot streak with a ground-ruled double before being brought home by a daddy hack from a returning Bryce Harper. Fresh off the paternity list, Harper hit his fifth home run of the season. This is the second time Harper’s wife gave birth during the season, and both times he hit a homer in the game he returned from the paternity list. Talk about dad strength!

Stott would add one more run in the sixth on a single that knocked in Brandon Marsh, and Wheeler would hand it off to the bullpen. Manager Rob Thomson went to Orion Kerkering who went 1.2 innings before summoning Jeff Hoffman to finish the game. The two right handers combined to allow 2 hits and 1 walk, striking out 5 over their 3 innings.

Rest of the Series

Looking back at the rest of the Phillies time in Cincinnati, it was a set of book ends. The Phillies won game 1 on the back of Ranger Suárez‘s 7 shutout innings. The lefty only needed 88 pitches on the evening, and as a result of the shutout – extended his scoreless streak to 25 consecutive innings and was the Phillies seventh straight victory at the time. Kody Clemens drew the start on his first day being called up while Harper was on paternity, and he drilled a 3-run homer. Stott knocked in 2, and Schwarber and Match both added one for the strong 7-0 victory.

Game 2 was a different story. Cristopher Sánchez took the mound but only lasted three innings, ending a streak of 7 straight games where a Phillies starters went 6+ innings. In fact, it was the shortest outing for a member of Philadelphia’s starting staff all season. Sánchez allowed 5 runs (only 1 earned) on 4 hits and 3 walks. The offense went cold, only putting up 1 run on an Alec Bohm RBI double, and the Phillies lost 8-1.

Game 3 had another strong outing from a Phillies starters as Spencer Turnbull went 5 innings, allowing 1 run on a solo HR from Will Benson. He allowed 3 hits and 3 walks, striking out 8 along the way in what was likely his final start for the foreseeable future. His ERA sits as 1.33 – more than you could have asked for in a spot starter. However, the bullpen did not fare as well. Seranthony Domínguez would struggle mightily, throwing 32 pitches, only 16 for strikes, as he lasted just 0.2 IP and allowed 4 earned runs in the process. The pen would give up 2 more runs, and Philadelphia would fall in Cincinnati, 7-4.

What’s Next?

Philadelphia’s offense continued to hit, for the most part, and the starting pitching continued to be one of- if not the best in all of baseball. Phillies play-by-play man Tom McCarthy noted during the telecast that their ERA over the last 10 games dropped to 0.82, and they sit at 2.12 on the season.

Philly leaves Cincy and they continue west, starting a weekend series against the San Diego Padres tomorrow. After facing a tough Padres lineup, they will see the league leader in home runs, Mike Trout, and the LA Angels in Anaheim before they return home.

Photo Courtesy: (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)