Phillies Blow Opportunity to Gain Ground

The Phillies keep it exciting in Cleveland on Sunday afternoon. The story of the weekend is the ice-cold offense costing the Phillies opportunity to gain ground in the wild-card standings. The Phightins drop the series against the Guardians. They lose the first two games on Friday and Saturday. They win Sunday afternoon but not without theatrics.

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Coming Up Short for Ranger

 Phillies fall behind again, and the comeback falls short to lose 6-5. The Phillies fell behind early for the seventh game out of eight since the All-Star break. In the first inning, Ranger Suarez got two very quick outs but proceeded to give up two singles, a double, and another single that scored two runs, and the Phillies were in a hole. The Phillies loaded the bases three times and failed each time.

The Phillies continued to fight through and had something cooking at the top of the 6th. A Stott single and three consecutive walks scored one, and Turner was up with the bases loaded and one out. He struck out swinging on a pitch way outside, and Castellanos flew out to left field, and the threat was over. Yunior Marte relived Suarez and was credited with two runs and only getting one out.

He surrendered a single, double, and single that scored one, and then Strahm came in and allowed a single to score one more. The Cleveland lead stood at 6-2. As the Phillies have done so often, they fought back. Hitting back-to-back home runs, JT hit a 2-run moonshot to left field, and Stott followed it up with his own solo shot to right. The score was 6-5, but that’s how it would end. The Phillies would go down in order the next two innings, and the comeback fell just shy. 

Wasting Wheeler

Phillies lose on Saturday night 1-0 to the Guardians in disappointing fashion. Zack Wheeler was dealing through seven innings, but one costly mistake from his defense in the sixth and the offense getting shut out by a rookie pitcher was the difference.

In one painful moment, three fielders didn’t get to a ball that hung in the air for what was surely seconds but felt like hours. Bryson Stott, Brandon Marsh, and Nick Castellanos were paralyzed by the pop fly that should have been the third out of the bottom of the sixth. Somehow the ball fell between them, allowing Amed Rosario, who had singled with two out, to motor home from first with what ended up being the game’s only run.

Salvaging Sunday

Craig Kimbrel blew his first save of the season, but the Phillies’ offense and bullpen mate Yunior Marte picked him up an inning later in an 8-5 win. Kimbrel gave up a two-out solo home run to David Fry in the bottom of the ninth to force extras, and the Phils responded quickly.

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Trea Turner walked to put runners on first and second in the 10th inning, and Bryce Harper brought in the go-ahead run with an RBI single up the middle. J.T. Realmuto added a bases-loaded sacrifice fly to increase the lead to two. Alec Bohm delivered a clutch two-run single to make it a four-run cushion. This was crucial as the Guardians loaded the bases with nobody out in the bottom of the 10th.

Jeff Hoffman came but could record an out. Thanks to Yunior Marte for retiring Cleveland’s two best hitters — Jose Ramirez and Josh Naylor — before ending the game.

Phillies Lose Opportunity to Gain Ground in Wild Card

The Phillies return home to host the Orioles in a three-game set after a weekend that was also unproductive for the teams surrounding them in the wild-card race. The Marlins snapped an eight-game losing streak after blowing a ninth-inning lead of their own. The Giants dropped their fifth straight game and were swept by the Nationals. The Diamondbacks lost their fourth straight game and were swept by the Reds.

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The Phils do not end the weekend in a playoff position but are as close. They’re a game behind the Reds (top wild card) and a half-game behind the D-backs and Giants, who are tied for the final two spots. The Reds are 55-46, the D-backs and Giants are 54-46. The Phillies are 53-46, and the Marlins are 54-47.

Harper Comfortable at First Base

Harper looks more than comfortable in his new position. Sunday, he shined for his second time at first base. He made two diving stops to his left, one to end an inning with a runner on base. Bryce leaped to snag a line drive to his right and double off a runner at first base. He fielded a ball deep behind first base and raced to the bag to beat Josh Bell. He hooked up with Bryson Stott on a bang-bang play to retire speedy leadoff man Steven Kwan on a bunt to begin the eighth inning. This after jumping into the camera well to catch a ball in foul territory in his first base debut Friday. Harper looks like he’s been playing first base for ten years.

The Phillies have fifth starter Cristopher Sanchez on the mound Monday night. The Baltimore Orioles have the second-best record in the majors at 61-36.

Al Zaffiri
Al Zaffiri

Al is one of the two co-creators of Edge of Philly Sports. Al started radio and podcasting in 2012 and covering sports in 2015. A lifelong Philly sports fan since watching the Eagles, Phillies, Sixers, and Flyers with his grandfathers at age 7. Al always looks at the other side of the hot topics and gives his different outlook on those topics. Web and Graphic Design.

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