The Phillies head out on the road with dates in St. Louis and Atlanta as we are heading down the stretch of the 2023 regular season. The Phillies are looking to lock up a playoff spot and reverse their poor play through the first half of September that has seen the Atlanta Braves clinch the NL East title on the Phillies home field. First up a three-game set in St. Louis.
Nick Castellanos hit a three-run homer, lifting the Phillies to a 5-4 victory over St. Louis on Friday night to assure the Cardinals of their first losing season since 2007. It’s only the second time in the last 24 seasons (2000-present) that the Cardinals (65-82), currently in last place in the NL Central, have endured a losing season. St. Louis has MLB’s second-longest active streak of winning seasons at 15 (2008-22). The Yankees currently have 30 winning seasons.
The Cardinals stranded 15 runners. They loaded the bases in the eighth and ninth and scored just one run. Aaron Nola, who was staked to a 4-0 lead, was pulled after 4 2/3 innings after giving up two singles. He allowed seven hits and two earned runs. Matt Strahm (9-4) struck pinch-hitter Tyler O’Neill to get out of the inning.
José Alvarado, the sixth pitcher for the Phillies, earned his eighth save by pitching the ninth despite giving up a run-scoring two-out single to Tommy Edman. Alvarado struck out Lars Nootbar looking to end the game.
Bryce Harper was ejected for throwing his bat in frustration after he struck out in the third inning Friday. Thompson fanned Harper on a slow curveball to end the third. Harper hurled his bat from the batter’s box up the third-base line in foul territory. It landed about 75 feet away, in front of the Phillies’ dugout.
Plate umpire Alex Tosi ejected Harper after the bat toss, and Harper yelled at Tosi before leaving the field. Phillies LHP Ranger Suárez (2-6, 3.93) was set to face RHP Miles Mikolas (7-11, 4.75) on Saturday.
Home run or nothing Kyle Schwarber hit his 44th homer, sparking the Phillies to a 6–1 victory Saturday night over the Cardinals. It was his fifth homer at Busch Stadium. He has 22 hits in 136 at-bats in 37 career games in St. Louis. The Phillies lead the NL wild-card race by 3 1/2 games over the Chicago Cubs, who hold the second of three spots.
Ranger Suárez (3-6) picked up the win with six innings of work in his third start since coming off the injured list. He gave up one run on four hits and four walks with five strikeouts in his first career start against St. Louis.
Bohm singled home Trea Turner in the first inning. It was Bohm’s 90th RBI of the season, making him the first primary third baseman to reach the mark for Philadelphia since Scott Rolen had 107 in 2001. The Phillies pushed their lead to 2-0 on a sacrifice fly by Brandon Marsh in the second.
A run-scoring double by Paul Goldschmidt in the third cut the Phillies’ lead to 2-1. Suárez loaded the bases but struck out Luken Baker to escape more damage. The Cardinals left the bases loaded in Friday’s eighth and ninth innings. The Phillies’ final run came in the ninth on an RBI double by Johan Rojas.
Holy Stranded Runners
The Cardinals stranded 13 runners. St. Louis left 15 on base in Saturday’s loss, and 15 runners on Friday. RHP Taijuan Walker (15-5, 4.30) took a no-decision against Atlanta on Monday. He went 5 1/3 innings and gave up six hits and five earned runs. Walker is 4-1 in his last seven starts with a 5.22 ERA. Cardinals: RHP Dakota Hudson (6-2, 3.32) suffered an 11-5 loss at Baltimore on Monday as he failed to pitch five full innings in a start for the first time this season.
Jordan Walker hit a tiebreaking homer in the eighth inning and Paul Goldschmidt drove in three runs to lead the Cardinals over the Phillies 6-5 on Sunday. St. Louis avoided a season sweep after losing its first five meetings with the Phillies this year.
Alec Bohm homered for Philadelphia, which leads the NL wild-card race. Walker homered off Seranthony Domínguez (4-5) with two outs to snap a 5-all tie. The Phillies will now head on to Atlanta and a date with the 2023 NL East Champions. The Phillies who are drawing nearer and nearer to clinching their second consecutive playoff birth will send Zach Wheeler to the mound to kick off the series.
Matt Bednarczyk is your host of Talking Philly Sports With Matty B. He is a proud retired US Army Sergeant First Class, he is also a combat veteran with over 80 months served in Afganistan, and Iraq . Huge Hockey Fan. Matt is a lifelong 4 for 4 Philly sports fan. Born and raised on the Mayfair and Tacony neighborhood lines of Northeast Philly. He brings over 40 years of Philadelphia Sports passion and provides a realistic look at our Major Sports Teams and the most passionate sports fans on the planet. Look for his show live on Edge of Philly Sports.