The Magic Number is Down to One

In a four-game series with New York Mets, the Philadelphia Phillies make a clean sweep. I know the Mets have had a down year, but sweeping the New York is always fun. Winning was not the only amazing thing to come out of this long weekend. The Phillies showed a lot of fight, with the bats coming up big. We saw Christopher Sanchez continue to dominate in another seven innings on Sunday evening. We also saw the debut of Osrion Kerkering, who has made his way up from Low A ball. The biggest takeaway is the Phillies’ magic number is down to one.

Castellanos Slugs Sets Career High in RBIs

Well, Castellanos is swinging the bat well with nine games to play. He went 2-for-3 with a home run and four RBIs in Thursday night’s 5-4 victory over the Mets. Castellanos is batting .364 (12-for-33) with six homers, 14 RBIs, and a 1.298 OPS in the prior nine games. He started the night with 99 RBIs but ended with a career-high 103.

Alec Bohm hit a solo homer in the third inning Thursday. He has 18 homers and 93 RBIs. He will need a big week to reach 100 RBIs, but if he does, it would be the first time the Phillies have had three players with 100-plus RBIs in a season since Utley, Bobby Abreu, and Pat Burrell in 2005. The Phillies averaged 4.91 runs per game, the team’s best mark in a non-pandemic-shortened season since 2009 (5.06 runs per game).

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Bohm Delivers Walk-Off Hit on Friday Night

Friday night, the Phillies had a 5-4 victory over the Mets in 10 innings at Citizens Bank Park. Alec Bohm’s walk-off single over the head of Mets first baseman Mark Vientos in the 10th. Trea Turner scored from second base to win it. It was Bohm’s third walk-off hit of the season. It was his second big hit in the past month after a pitcher intentionally walked Bryce Harper to face him.

Phillies right-hander Taijuan Walker allowed two runs in six innings. J.T. Realmuto’s three-run homer in the bottom of the sixth gave the Phillies a 3-2 lead. Then the Phillies went to their bullpen, which hasn’t been as effective in recent weeks. Phillies left-hander Matt Strahm pitched a scoreless seventh. Left-hander Gregory Soto gave up a homer to Francisco Lindor in the eighth to cut the Phillies lead to 4-3. Jeff Hoffman picked up the final out in the eighth. It was his first time pitching three consecutive days this season. Craig Kimbrel pitched for the third consecutive day for the first time, too. He allowed a game-tying homer to Brett Baty in the ninth. Domínguez recorded the first out in the 10th, then walked Brandon Nimmo. He struck out Lindor swinging on a 3-2 slider for the second out. Domínguez then walked Jeff McNeil to load the bases. He got Alonso to strike out swinging on a 2-2 slider to end the inning.

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Phillies Brave the Elements for Victory

The conditions at Citizens Bank Park on Saturday afternoon were far from ideal for baseball or most sports. There were winds hovering around 20 mph and even stronger gusts, and a steady mist fell on and off throughout the game. The rain let up just long enough for the Phillies to squeeze in a 7-5 win.

Bryce Harper ripped a rocket through the winds for his 20th homer of the season. Alec Bohm later added his 19th on a day when any ball hit in the air seemingly turned into an adventure.

But avoiding a postponement was pivotal not only for the sake of inching closer to securing a postseason spot but also for what it means for Zack Wheeler’s pitching schedule. By making his start as scheduled on Saturday, Wheeler will next pitch on regular rest on Thursday against the Pirates, lining him up to start Game 1 of a potential NL Wild Card Series on normal rest.

Four In a Row for the Phightins

Orion Kerkering got to make his major league debut. He was able to leave his mark on Sunday night’s 5-2 victory over the Mets at Citizens Bank Park. He was able to help reduce the Phillies’ magic number to one. Kerkering looked dominant in a scoreless inning. He struck out two, both on sliders. Kerkering got promoted from Triple-A Lehigh Valley on Friday because the Phillies think he has the stuff to pitch in the postseason. If it happens, he will be the first Phillies pitcher to make his debut in September and pitch in the playoffs since Marty Bystrom in 1980.

Whether to carry Kerkering isn’t the only pitching decision the Phillies must make before the postseason. Left-hander Cristopher Sánchez had another dominant performance on Sunday. He allowed two runs in seven innings. He struck out 10 batters for the second time in three starts. Sánchez struck out all 10 batters on changeups. It is tied for the third-most strikeouts on changeups in a game since at least 2008.

Phillies Magic Number is One

The Phillies look to lock up their post-season. It could be done in the next 48 hours against the Pirates. The Phillies look to continue their hitting show. If the pitching can continue to progress, the sky is the limit in October into November.

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.