After a disappointing streak after the All-Star break, the Phillies became a division rival in need of a series win. A come-from-behind win in game one gave the team some momentum, but the offense went quiet again as the Phils dropped game two. An early first pitch for game three would decide the series.
Although both teams are in their respective playoff races, the Phillies needed this series more than the Braves.
The beginning of this game felt like a game with an early start time. The forwards went one through four innings. Morton had a fastball-curveball combination that kept the Phillies hitters off balance. Meanwhile, Kyle Gibson did a good job mixing up his pitches and locations. Gibson finished the day with 6 IP, 4 K, 2BB and the win.
Finally Some Runs
The fifth inning changed the course of a baseball game. Morton walked Bryson Stott to start the inning. As is often the case, the leadoff walk came back to haunt the Braves. A poor selection attempt allowed Stott to finish third. Then, Alec Bohm came up with his first RBI of the day with a base hit to left field.
Another error hurt the Braves as Robinson Cano hit a simple ground ball to second base. The Phillies took advantage as Herrera smoked an RBI run to left. Schwarber’s sac fly stuck to another. A double steal later in the inning put two runners in scoring position. Like Weather, JT Realmuto stayed hot with a two RBI single. Although we didn’t know it at the time, five spots in the fifth were enough to win the ball game.
Atlanta responded in the bottom of the sixth with what appeared to be the only error by Gibson all day. Matt Olson hit his second home run of the series, putting Atlanta back in the game. But if you thought this team was going to fall apart like they have in previous years, you were sadly mistaken as the Fightins responded with two of their own in game six.
Alec Bohm was on an absolute tear recently and added another RBI, this time with a double down the right field line. It was a great at-bat from the young third baseman who struggled on a lot of pitches. He fouled a fastball down the right-field line earlier in the at-bat, but didn’t make an error in the second. Through six, the Phillies led Atlanta 7-2.
The New Phillies Bullpen
The game was on cruise control from there. The bullpen shut down the Braves for the rest of the game. After a terrible start to the season, the bullpen has come into its own. The combination of Brogdon, Hand and Bellatti allowed just one hit on three shutout innings. This is a potential season-changing win for the Phillies. Being swept by the Cubs made this game a must-win. The Phillies have a 51-47 record for Pittsburgh.
On to the next one
Since the All-Star break, the Phillies’ offense has struggled. They scored 2, 2, 3, 6, 3 and 7 runs in the six games after halftime. Hopefully they can carry the momentum of this series into Pittsburgh. The Pirates have a 40-58 cliffhanger. The Phillies haven’t been able to take advantage of inferior opponents the past few years. This year, for example, we had a different feeling in Miami before the All-Star break. I mean, who saw this coming? The Phillies need to use the momentum of this series and take advantage of an inferior opponent.
The series begins tonight at PNC Park, with the first pitch starting at 7:05 p.m. With Zach Wheeler in Philadelphia and Zach Thompson in the bump for Pittsburgh, this will be Zach’s battle.
Photo Credit: Matt Slocum/AP