After the shakey series opener against the Royals on Friday, it looked like this team was going to flounder for the rest of the season. Despite Friday, they went on to take the series from the Royals. Going from one last-place team to another last-place team in the Nationals. This four-game series would be a big measuring stick for the Phillies in the Wild Card race. In this series, many more historical moments for the Phillies would completely flip your opinion around in just one week. Phillies show no mercy to the Washington Nationals.
Game 1 Win
In game one of this series, the Phillies were sending one of their workhorses to the mound, Zach Wheeler. Williams of the Nationals would oppose him. The Nationals would jump all over the Phillies and Wheeler early in the game, with a solo home run by Ruiz in the second and a follow-up two-run jack by Lane Thomas in the top of the third inning. With the Phillies being down by three runs leading into the bottom of the third inning, they needed a bomb, a Schwarbomb. With Schwarber’s two-run home run in the bottom of the third, Alec Bohm would join him with a solo home run in the at-bat following.
Back-to-Back jacks would tie this game at three a piece moving into the fourth inning. However, in that fourth inning, the Phillies and Schwarber were not done with the long ball. In the bottom of the fourth inning, the Schwarbarian crushed a three-run home run to give the Phillies the lead. The Phillies would continue to show no mercy to the Nationals by adding more runs in the sixth inning, thanks to a two-run home run by Jake Cave. The Phillies would go on to win game one of this series by a final score of 8-4.
Game 2 Let Down
In game two of this series, two finesse pitchers would take the mound, Suarez and Gray. This game was a back-and-forth fight. The Phillies started well by getting one of their players that haven’t been performing well to get the party started in the first inning. Trea Turner with an RBI double in the bottom of the first inning. But this game was really won on the bat of one Nationals player Joey Meneses. He had two home runs late in the game, and with those home runs, one of them won the Nationals the game. Final score Nationals 5. Phillies 4.
The Phillies would look to rebound quickly after their game-two loss. In game three of this series, it was potentially the most emotional night at the bank so far this season. History and decisions were things that highlighted the type of magic that happened at the bank. With the Phillies’ new pitcher making his home debut, Micheal Lorenzen was about to make Phillies history. Not that it matters, but he was opposed by Mckenzie Gore. The Phillies decided to jump all over the Nationals in the first inning, Harper had an RBI double, and Castellanos had a two-run home run.
Historic Night at the Bank
The first bit of magic in the night air would happen in the bottom of the second inning. A young and hungry athlete by the name of Weston Wilson would step up for his very first MLB plate appearance. Weston is 28 years old and has been bouncing around in the minors for a couple of years. He had his family in the stands supporting him like they always do. Wilson waited for his pitch and then rocketed the ball into the night and over the fence. With one swing of the bat, everyone in the stadium, Philly, and especially his new teammates, knew who Wes Wilson was. The magical night would continue in the bottom of the third inning, with Castellanos sending another ball out of the yard. This time it was for the 200th time he has done it in his career.
In the first couple of innings, Lorenzen’s pitch counts were inflating fast, and it looked like he would be getting the hook early. But Lorenzen settled down and dominated by getting 14 fly-ball outs. As the feeling came around the stadium in the seventh inning, people started to realize that Lorenzen was working on a no-hitter. In the top of the ninth inning, Lorenzen was going back onto the mound after having 100 pitches, but he still had the no-hitter intact.
History in the Making
As Lorenzen walked onto the field in the top of the ninth inning, the Phillie fans stood up for him and stayed that way throughout the ninth inning. Lorenzen was able to finish out the no-hitter and collected the 14th no-hitter in Phillies history. Not since Cole Hamels in 2015, in his last appearance with the Phillies, did the team have a no-hitter. After the game, Lorenzen said, “I don’t know how you could be tired at all with these fans carrying you up.” Two new players to this team and to this city, and I would bet that they both have more of a fond respect for this fanbase. I will get more into the praise of the fanbase at the end.
Phillies Phinal Win of the Series
Let’s move on to the fourth and final game of this series. Nola would be facing off against Corbin. Nola has struggled with his command and his focus when baserunners are on. The Nationals would get the early lead with an RBI double by Vargas in the top of the sixth inning. The Phillies would respond in the bottom of the sixth inning with a Turner two-run home run. But the ball wasn’t done leaving the yard. In the bottom of the seventh inning, the Phillies had two two-run home runs, one by Castellanos and the other by JT. Vargas gets a cheap RBI single in the top of the eighth inning. The Phillies would win this game by a final of 6-2. The Phillies would also win this series and distance themselves in the Wild Card Race.
In this home stand so far, the Phillies are 5-2 and have started to show that magic that was felt everywhere at the end of last year. This fanbase gets a lot of grief, but when a guy like Turner needs to feel like someone, anyone believes in him. He started getting that in the Royals series with a standing ovation for all his at-bats.
Turner has regained his confidence because he has hit in every game on this home stand. It is easy to be critical of anyone when they are doing poorly, but it takes stronger people to build someone up when they feel down. Tough times don’t last, but tough people do. Leading into the next series against the Twins. This Twins team is in first place in their division, but their division is the worst one in the majors. The Phillies need to take care of business this weekend and continue this hot path toward October.