Game Recap: Phillies drop finale in Baltimore, 8-3

Phillies Orioles Baseball
Philadelphia Phillies manager Rob Thomson, back, argues with home plate umpire Mike Estabrook, front, after he was ejected from the baseball game in the sixth inning against the Baltimore Orioles, Sunday, June 16, 2024, in Baltimore. Third base umpire Laz Diaz watches at right. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

A rubber match between two of baseball’s best took place on Sunday afternoon in Baltimore.

After two competitive games this weekend, Zack Wheeler and the Phillies took on Corbin Burnes and the Orioles. This matchup between two of baseball’s best pitchers was expected to deliver quite a ballgame.

The Phillies took home an extra-inning win on Friday night in an electric showdown. The Orioles took Saturday’s game with some late offense and a shutdown performance by their bullpen. That set the stage for Sunday.

Sunday’s Best

Heading into Sunday’s action both Zack Wheeler and Corbin Burnes have been dominating 2024.

Wheeler (8-3, 2.16 ERA) was coming off a masterful performance in his last start against Boston. In that game Wheels had gone 7 innings, allowing just 1 earned run and three hits.

Burnes (7-2, 2.08 ERA) was also coming off a strong performance. In his last start, Corbin went 7 innings against the Tampa Bay Rays, allowing 5 hits and no earned runs.

Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Zack Wheeler delivers to a Boston Red Sox batter during the first inning of a baseball game Tuesday, June 11, 2024, in Boston. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

Rocky First Inning

Zack Wheeler had a rocky start to his outing in Baltimore. Wheeler faced Gunnar Henderson to start the game and had the Orioles’ shortstop in a 2-strike count. A clear strike three call was missed by the home plate umpire. This extended the at-bat for Henderson, who put his 22nd homer into the seats.

This gave the O’s a 1-0 lead in the first. A few batters later, Bryce Harper would make an error at first base. Extending the inning, Wheeler would have to throw 27 pitches to escape the first inning.

In the bottom of the second, the Orioles stuck again. With a runner on first, rookie Colton Cowser hit a two-run shot. This extended the Baltimore lead to 3-0. For the third time in the game, Wheeler would allow another home run. In the bottom of the third, Adley Rutschman would add another souvenir. This made the score 4-0 after three innings.

Phillies Fight Back

The Phillies showed some fight in the top of the fifth inning.

Battling against Burnes, Garrett Stubbs would get the inning moving. Kyle Schwarber would double and then Nick Castellanos added in the first run of the game.

Bryce Harper would walk, allowing Alec Bohm to bring home another run. A blown call by the home plate umpire would ring up Bryson Stott to end the inning.

Later in the game the Phillies would tack on another run. Back to back doubles from Harper and Bohm would make it an 8-3 ballgame. It would be Alex’s third knock of the game.

Topper pops his Top

Home plate umpire Mike Estabrook has become enemy number one for the Phillies. Several missed calls went against the Phillies, which costed them in big spots.

In the top of the sixth inning, Rob Thomson decided he had enough. After initially saying Stubbs was hit by a pitch, the call was immediately flipped. This was enough to push Thomson over the edge. Topper would meet face to face with Estabrook. Rob took out a week’s worth of frustration out him before getting ejected from the ballgame.

The Phillies have gotten some brutal calls in recent games. They can only push forward and continue to play. In the top level of competition, you would expect better from professional umpires.

Turner Phillies
Philadelphia Phillies’ Trea Turner follows through after hitting a run-scoring single against Chicago White Sox pitcher Nick Nastrini during the fourth inning of a baseball game, Sunday, April 21, 2024, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Trea Turner Update

It was announced on Sunday morning that Trea Turner would be activated when the Phillies return to Citizens Bank on Monday.

Turner, who has been out since May 3rd with a hamstring injury, had been rehabbing with the team over the last several weeks. The club opted to not have Trea go on a rehab assignment, so his game action will be his first in-game performance in over roughly six weeks.

The Phillies have not announced who will be removed from the roster to make room for Trea. The options include Johan Rojas, Cristian Pache, David Dahl, and Whit Merrifield. Rojas is the only player who can be outrighted to the minor leagues as he still has options. Pache, Dahl, and Merrifield would have to be designated for assignment and waived. This means any team could claim them and steal them from the Phillies’ roster.

It will be an interesting call to see how the Phillies handle this move. The right answer is not as simple as it may seem but at the very least they are adding an MVP-caliber bat back in their lineup.