Series Recap: Phillies Drop Boston Finale, Fall 9-3

Boston Red Sox’s Connor Wong scores next to Philadelphia Phillies catcher Rafael Marchan during the fifth inning of a baseball game Wednesday, June 12, 2024, in Boston. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

After taking game one in Boston Monday night, the Phillies dropped the final two games of their series with the Red Sox.

Pitching again struggled at Fenway Park, as the Red Sox used every crevice of the ballpark to their advantage in Wednesday’s finale. The Sox crushed starter Aaron Nola and chased him out of the game in the fourth inning. Striking for eight against Aaron, it was just the second time in his career that Nola had allowed 8 earned runs in one outing.

Despite an early comeback attempt in the top of the fourth inning, the Phillies were largely uncompetitive against the now above .500 Red Sox. Starter Tanner Houck settled in after the Phils gave him their best, as he cruised to his seventh win of the season.

Phillies Nola
Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Aaron Nola works against the Colorado Rockies in the third inning of a baseball game Saturday, May 25, 2024, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Not Nola’s Night

Aaron Nola’s last outing before Wednesday’s game was June 5th. Due to the scheduling of the London series, Nola had eight days between starts, as opposed to his normal five. Heading into tonight’s action, he held a 2.77 earned run average. This was the 11th-best in baseball and a sign of the great season he’s had in 2024.

After a rather causal first inning for both teams, the bottom of the second inning unraveled quickly for the Phillies’ starter. The Red Sox hit four doubles in the inning, driving in four runs. They had six straight hits in the inning and the ball was getting crushed.

Boston had four hits over 100 mph and the Red Sox were spraying the ball across the field. The NBC Sports Philadelphia broadcast mentioned how it appeared Nola was overthrowing. Since he had a lot of time off between starts, his arm was fresher, almost giving him too much on his pitches.

Nola would suffer the loss and not make it out of the fourth inning. He went 3.2 IP, allowed 11 hits, 8 earned runs, and had just two strikeouts.

Philadelphia Phillies’ Alec Bohm gestures after hitting a home run during the eighth inning of a baseball game against the Milwaukee Brewers, Tuesday, June 4, 2024, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Laurence Kesterson)

Phillies Bats Cool Off

After a ridiculously hot April and May, it seems like the Phillies’ bats are starting to come back down to Earth just a bit. Pairing that with some key injuries, the lineup is not as strong as it was just weeks prior.

Alec Bohm had the night off on Wednesday night. His batting average has dropped from .366 on April 30th to .286 through the end of this series. Bohm is hitting just .228 in that stretch and while he was available off the bench, the night off seemed to happen at a good time.

The bottom of the Phillies’ order got the only runs started in this game. Edmundo Sosa would reach via an error, Whit Merrifield would get hit by a pitch and Johan Rojas reached on an infield single to load the bases. Kyle Schwarber drilled a ball to the deepest part of Fenway Park, clearing the bases with a double. At this point in the game, it was 4-3 Boston, but that would be all the offense the Phillies produced.

World Series Preview?

The Phillies conclude a long road trip with a three-game series in Baltimore this weekend. They will take on the Orioles, who have been one of the best teams in baseball over the last two seasons.

Led by young star talents like Gunnar Henderson and Adley Rutschman, the Orioles enter the series with a 45-23 record. They are coming off a series win against the Atlanta Braves and are sitting in second place in the American League East.

Both teams made the 2023 post-season and are poised to reach again in 2024. The Orioles were swept by the eventual World Series champion Rangers at home. I would almost equate that series to the 2007 Phillies team that got eliminated by the Rockies at home. It was their first taste of the post-season and they are primed to make a deeper run.

The Phillies may get a chance to see a familiar face in Craig Kimbrel, who has been closing games in Baltimore this season.

First pitch Friday night is at 7:05 pm EST.

Photo Credit: (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)