Phillies End Another Rough Road Trip to San Francisco with Win

The Philadelphia Phillies end another rough road trip to San Francisco with a win. After struggling again at Oracle Park and dropping the first two games, they found some offense for the first time since the ninth inning in game two of the Rockies series. The Phillies’ road trip ended with some drama but wasn’t over the final score. They fly home with a 39-18 record ahead of a six-game homestand that begins Friday.

Flyers Let Early Lead Slip Away, Lose to Capitals

It was a 2-4 road trip, but the Phillies at least avoided being swept for the first time this season. The lineup had been cold offensively during the six-game road trip but broke out with 12 hits in five innings against Harrison.

A Sloppy Memorial Day

Six starts in, Taijuan Walker is still struggling. He battles for consistency. Walker took the loss for the Phillies on Memorial Day, allowing six runs over six innings. The Phils dug an early three-run hole, then came back to take the lead with four runs off of Blake Snell before Walker gave the lead back in the fifth. Walker has not had the feel or command of his splitter all year, which is usually his best pitch. In 2023, he held opponents to a .210 batting average. This season, Walker’s opponents are a whopping .514 against the splitter. His velocity has been down about two mph as well. He’s currently without a putaway pitch.

Walker, who has a 5.51 ERA, was not the only reason the Phillies lost. They committed three errors, all of which resulted in runs. Alec Bohm made two at third base and has four errors over the last six days. Second baseman Whit Merrifield dropped a pop-up in shallow right field in the seventh inning, two batters after Bohm’s second error. With men on first and second earlier in the game, Johan Rojas caught a ball in deep center and threw to third base, where he had no chance to nab the runner. It allowed the trailing runner to advance to second, and both scored moments later.

They scored all of their runs in the top of the third and fourth. Kyle Schwarber hit a two-run homer. Edmundo Sosa tripled and scored on a wild pitch in the fourth, and Rojas singled in Merrifield. The Phillies stole four bases in that inning alone. They forced Snell to throw 64 pitches in his final two innings, chasing him after four. It was not enough, as the Phillies lost 8-4. They’ve dropped back-to-back games for the first time since April 23-24 in Cincinnati.

A Wasted Wheeler Opportunity

The Phillies hadn’t been shut out since April 9 at St. Louis. The same team hadn’t beaten them in consecutive games since April 23-24 at Cincinnati. They’ve lost three in a row for the first time all year. Zack Wheeler threw 101 pitches, striking out nine and allowing two hits. Wheeler was once a highly-touted prospect in the Giants’ organization. He has held San Francisco to one unearned run in two starts this season. He struck out 11 in seven innings in a 1-0 win in Philadelphia on May 6.

The biggest blunder was in the sixth inning Tuesday night. Giants shortstop Brett Wisely had the entire play in front of him. He shaded up the middle and behind J.T. Realmuto, who had reached on a leadoff double. Bryce Harper scorched a groundball. Wisely had to stagger to his right and deal with a screen from Realmuto but fielded the ball cleanly. Wisely threaded the ball to third baseman Matt Chapman. Chapman lunged at Realmuto for the out.

The Giants used two former Phillies pitching prospects, among others, to keep the Phillies scoreless. Left-hander Erik Miller pitched as an opener, and after, left-hander Taylor Rogers contributed two innings. Newly promoted Spencer Howard held the Phillies scoreless from the third through the seventh. That added a little sting to the loss. Tyler Rogers held down the Phillies in the eighth. Then Sean Hjelle retired three batters in the ninth. The only scoring came from the Giants Wilmer Flores, whose deep fly ball to center advanced Tyler Fitzgerald to third, and Luis Matos, whose fly ball to medium left field was deep enough to score Fitzgerald with the winning run 1-0 in extras.

The Giants have won 10 of their last 12 games as of Tuesday night, taking the first two games of the three-game series against the Phillies after being swept in a four-game set in Philadelphia earlier this month.

Things Get Chippy in Game 3

The benches, bullpens, and clubhouses cleared at the top of the fourth inning Wednesday after Giants starting pitcher Kyle Harrison threw high-and-inside to Bryce Harper twice in a row, nearly hitting him in the head or hand on consecutive pitches. Harper barked at Harrison after the first one, and the dugouts emptied after the second. There were no punches, just a bit of pushing and shoving as Harper stayed out of the fray and cooled off.

Kyle Schwarber set the tone with an opposite-field home run to lead off the game. It was his 23rd leadoff homer as a Phillie, and they are 19-4 in those games. They increased their lead in the second inning on singles by Nick Castellanos, Bryson Stott, and Cristian Pache, who drove in Castellanos with a two-out base hit. Castellanos had a game that was needed for himself. He knocked a two-run shot in the fifth inning as part of a three-hit day. The Phillies tacked on two more in the eighth on RBI singles by Schwarber and Harper.

Sanchez Sizzles

In his 11th start, Christopher Sanchez had some of his best command of the season. He worked ahead and put hitters away with all three of his changeups, fastball, and slider. Sanchez was able to throw strikes and work ahead with the slider, and his fastball still reached 97 mph in the middle innings. He cruised through six scoreless innings, improving to 3-3 with a 2.83 ERA.

Since being called up from Triple-A last June, Sanchez has a 3.13 ERA with 152 strikeouts and 36 walks in 155⅓ innings, the kind of production you’d expect from a No. 2 starter. Gregory Soto and Seranthony Dominguez followed with scoreless innings, and Spencer Turnbull allowed a meaningless run in the ninth.

Next up are the Cardinals on Friday night at Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies have Aaron Nola, Ranger Suarez and Taijuan Walker going in the series against right-handers Miles Mikolas, Sonny Gray and Lance Lynn.

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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