Phillies’ Bats Put on Ice as Memorial Day Weekend Heats Up in Colorado

Philadelphia Phillies relief pitcher Gregory Soto adjusts his cap after walking Colorado Rockies’ Ryan McMahon to load the bases in the 11th inning of a baseball game Friday, May 24, 2024, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

For the first time since April 3rd, the Philadelphia Phillies have lost a series after dropping two of three to the Colorado Rockies over Memorial Day Weekend. The loss breaks a 15-series loss-less streak during which the Phillies swept seven series.

The Phils, 38-16, remain uncontested atop the National League East with a 6.0 game lead over the 30-20 Atlanta Braves and continue to own the best record in Major League Baseball.

Late Night Contests Decided in the Late Innings

Any time the Phillies travel out to the West Coast, the resulting schedule tends to result in some late-night affairs for anyone wanting to watch the game back home.

Friday and Saturday’s portions of the Phillies’ series against the Rockies made the East-West Coast divide feel even more tangible as neither contest was determined until the final inning.

Friday’s contest began with a surprising bang as Bryce Harper found himself ejected after arguing a called strike with home plate umpire Brian Walsh in the top of the first inning.

First, on Friday night, the Fightins took a 2-0 lead in the fifth inning on solo home runs from Nick Castellanos and Edmundo Sosa. The Rockies took a run back in the bottom half of the inning, the only run to score on Cristopher Sanchez on the contest.

PHILADELPHIA, PA – APRIL 05: Philadelphia Phillies Pitcher Jose Alvarado (46) delivers a pitch during the ninth inning of the Major League Baseball game between the New York Mets and the Philadelphia Phillies on April 5, 2021, at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire)

With a one-run lead in the bottom of the ninth, Jose Alvarado blew his first save of the year on a pinch-hit home run to Jacob Stallings, forcing extra innings. After the Phillies failed to score with runners on second and third with one out in the 10th, the Rockies converted in the bottom of the 11th against Gregory Soto to claim game one of the series 3-2 in 11 innings.

The next night, the Rockies hoped that the same score would suffice to claim a second victory in a row against the Phils. Harper, back in the lineup following his ejection, singled into right field to score Kyle Schwarber to give the Phillies the early 1-0 lead. The Rockies would then slowly chip away at Aaron Nola’s box score, scoring a run apiece in the first, second, and third innings to take a 3-1 lead. Schwarber took a run back in the top of the fifth inning, hitting a sacrifice fly to center field, scoring Stubbs.

A Brandon Marsh leadoff walk put a runner on for the team in top of the ninth. Next up to the plate, Edmundo Sosa laced a triple into right field, scoring Marsh and tying the contest at 3-3. Stubbs then scored Sosa on a single, giving the Phillies the lead. That seemed to be all the Phillies would get on the inning after Kody Clemens grounded into a double play, but the top of the Phillies’ lineup came up big to keep the inning going. Following a Schwarber double and a walk from Bryson Stott, Harper slung a three-run home run into left field.

Alec Bohm, who would then reach base on a double, scored the final run on the Phillies’ ledger on a single from Castellanos as the Phillies took what seemed like a 3-2 loss into an 8-3 lead in the ninth inning.

Spencer Turnbull allowed one run to score in the bottom of the ninth as the Phillies claimed game two 8-4. Jose Ruiz earned his first win of the season on the mound for the Phillies.

Matinee Matchup Closed Up Early On as Phillies’ Bats Run Cold

Ranger Suarez pitched what was statistically his worst start of the season as the Phillies faced off against the Rockies on Sunday’s getaway day matchup. After allowing a one-out single in the bottom of the first, Suarez allowed a two-run home run to Ryan McMahon giving the Rockies an early lead.

Command was the issue for Suarez on the day, most notably in the bottom of the second inning where he walked four batters, three of whom would score. Two runs scored on a double from Hunter Goodman and then, later on, the fifth run would score due to a throwing error from Alec Bohm.

The Phillies’ offense got their first breath of life on the day in the top of the fourth. After Schwarber reached base on a leadoff walk, a single from Bohm scored him from second to put them on the board 5-1.

Speaking of breath, it took Ranger Suarez a moment to catch his in the bottom of the fourth as he narrowly avoided a 110-mph comeback line drive from Rockies’ Elehuris Montero. Shockingly, Bryson Stott made a diving catch on the play, preventing a leadoff single to start the inning. Suarez rebounded his outing into a six-inning, nine strikeout affair, allowing four earned runs on three hits and four walks.

The Phillies chipped away at the Rockies’ lead in the top of the fifth as Marsh, who reached on a one-out single, scored from second on a single into right field from Johan Rojas, cutting the lead to 5-2. The Phillies’ offense would be relatively quiet after the fifth inning, with only a pair of hits from Marsh and J.T. Realmuto, extending his hitting streak to 15 consecutive games, in the seventh and eighth innings respectively. They would, however, go down in order in the top of the ninth as the Rockies secured the contest 5-2, taking the series over the Phillies 2-1.

Cold Bats Cost the Phillies

While many a fans across the Greater Philadelphia area enjoyed their favorite cold one in the warm weather, the Phillies’ bats were not expected to be on the cold menu for the weekend. As a combined unit, the Phillies only hit .228 on the series with their only offensive outburst being in the top of the ninth on Saturday night.

Kyle Schwarber led the Phillies with four hits across the three-game contest, but remains without a home run since May 6th.

Next Up: San Francisco

With their third series loss on the ledger much later in the season than anticipated, the Phillies remain on an overall high note as they continue their trip on the West Coast. The return to action on Memorial Day when they kick off a three-game set against the San Francisco Giants. First pitch for Game One is scheduled for 5:05 PM and features a showdown between Taijuan Walker and Blake Snell.

Photo Credit: AP Photo/David Zalubowski