Game Recap: Phillies secure their best start in franchise history, win 11-4.

Phillies Taijaun Walker
Philadelphia Phillies’ Taijuan Walker pitches during the first inning of a baseball game against the San Francisco Giants, Sunday, May 5, 2024, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

After a 5-2 win over the reigning World Series Champions, the Phillies looked to secure the series win in game 2 of the series.

The start couldn’t have been odder for the Phillies. On the first pitch of the game, Taijuan Walker induced a typically easy pop-up. Instead of being secured by Bryce Harper or Bryson Stott, it just fell between the 2 in a confusing moment.

Walker walked Corey Seager and after getting the next 2 outs, he allowed a RBI single off the bat of Josh Smith. He recorded 2 strikeouts in the inning.

Dane Dunning came off the Injured List to start for the Rangers. While the Phillies didn’t get anything going in the 1st, the top of the order worked 3 consecutive full counts.

The Rangers added a second run in the 2nd inning of the bat of Leody Tavares. His laser of a home run went 437 ft off the batter’s eye in center field. Walker added his 3rd K of the day, getting Derek Hill swinging.

Phillies Get Rolling

The Phillies got some luck of their own in the bottom of the inning as Alec Bohm opened the frame by reaching on an error by 1st baseman Nathaniel Lowe. Bryson Stott got a single but was erased on a fielder’s choice by Nick Castellanos. Brandon Marsh followed that up with an RBI single to make it 2-1 Phillies. The Phillies stole a run to tie the game. They started Brandon Marsh with Johan Rojas up and Dane Dunning threw the potential pick-off into center field.

Brandon Marsh put on a fielding display in the top of the 3rd inning. After a leadoff Corey Seager single, Adolis Garcia lined a ball off the left-field wall. Marsh threw a perfect 1-hopper to Alec Bohm at 3rd for the outfield assist. After a walk to Josh Smith, Marsh again made a nice play on a fly ball to end the inning.

In the bottom of the frame, JT Realmuto drove a 1st-pitch hanging slider and deposited it into the LF seats. It was his 6th homer of the season and pushed his hitting streak to a career-best 12 games. He’s hit in 12 games in a row 3 times in his career but never with the Phillies.

“I think they’re very confident,” said Manager Rob Thomson. “And I think right now, it really doesn’t matter what type of game we’re in they feel like someone is going to do something to get it done.” The Phillies would lead the rest of the game.

Taijuan Walker mowed through the Rangers’ bottom of the lineup in the 4th. He struck out 2 looking on inner-3rd sinkers.

After getting the 1st out in the 4th, Dane Dunning was done for the day. He walked Nick Castellanos and allowed a single to Brandon Marsh before Bruce Bochy made a move to the pen. Jonathan Hernandez got the call for the Rangers. The 1st pitch he threw Edmundo Sosa launched into the RF seats, giving the Phillies a 6-2 lead.

Settling In

Walker started to look shaky in the 5th. He walked Marcus Semien and Corey Seager to start the inning. After a flyout, Edmundo Sosa made a terrific heads-up play on a grounder that was leading his to 3rd. He was able to jump and throw to 2nd to just get Corey Seager. With 2 outs, Josh Smith had his 2nd RBI single of the day. Matt Strahm came in relief and got a liner to CF to end the threat.

Strahm returned for the 6th inning. He allowed his 2nd walk of the season but quickly erased it with a 6-4-3 double play. He got Taveras to fly out to Rojas, ending the inning and extending Strahm’s scoreless streak to 20.1 innings.

The Phillies offense started up again in the 6th. After Nick Castellanos walked, the Phillies caught a break on an odd error by Seager with 2 outs. He fielded a slow roller to SS and lobbed it to 2nd, except Semien had ducked for Seager to throw to first.

The floodgates opened from there once Yerry Rodgriguez entered the game. Kyle Schwarber walked. JT Realmuto singled, scoring Castellanos and Rojas. Bryce Harper walked, leading to, who else, Alec Bohm. Bohm perfectly placed a double between 4 fielders. His 20th double and 45/46 RBI pushed the score to 10-3.

Gregory Soto entered the game in the 7th inning. After getting the 1st out, he allowed a homer to Seager, his 8th of the season, 10-4. Soto struck out the next 2 batters to end the inning.

Orion Kerkering was the man for the 8th inning. After hitting the 1st batter, he induced 2 groundouts and struck out the final hitter.

Bryce Harper recovered from his hat trick through his first 3 at bats to slam his 12th homer of the season off of the ESPN Bet sign in the RF corner. It pushed the score to 11-4.

Jose Ruiz was called on for the 9th inning. Two flyouts and a grounder to first later and the Phillies have won a series against the Texas Rangers for the first time since 2011.

The win gives the Phillies their best start through 50 games in franchise history at 36-14. In 142 seasons, no Phillies team has ever won more. The 2001 Seattle Mariners (who won 116 games) were the last team to get out to a start like that. That doesn’t impress Rob Thomson.

“What did they do at the end?” said Thomson. “You just gotta keep grinding, keep pushing.”

Photo Credit: (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)