What a rollercoaster ride the Phightin Phillies have been in July. Monday started one of their bigger test against the American League-best Baltimore Orioles. After losing to a mediocre team in the Cleveland Guardians and coming up short to the Milwaukee Brewers, fans and Phillies team members have become frustrated, to say the least. The team needed a spark. The Philadelphia Phillies youth and bench come through as the spark.
Phillies Lose After Sanchez Deals
Christopher Sanchez delas in seven innings with career-high eight strikeouts. His only mistakes are surrendering a 356-footer solo homerun to Jordan Westburg, one more dinger to Ryan Mountcastle, and holding the Orioles’ potent offense to two runs in seven innings. What more can you ask from your fifth starter? He also went up against former Phillie Kyle Gibson, who received his 2022 National League Championship ring.
Phillies’ offense waits until the 5th inning to come alive. Scwarber hits a sacrifice fly to score Garrett Stubbs tieing the game. In the 8th inning, Nick Castellanos singles, scoring Kyle Schwarber from third. Bryce Harper, with an aggressive run from first base, tries to score and gets thrown out at home. It was questionable, but it was a close throw.
In the 9th inning, the Orioles take the wind out of fans in Citizens Bank Park. Questionable call from Rob Thompson to leave Kyle Schwarber in at defense in left field. It blows up in his face the ninth. Colton Cowser doubles on a line drive to left. Schwarber reaches out but cannot corale the catch. If anyone of the outfielders were in at defense, it could have been a different maker. Phillies lost 3-2 in the opener, and things looked bleak for Phillies fans.
Harper Leads the Way
Bryce Harper flew around the bases on Tuesday night, just like he flew around the bases on Monday. This time scoring the tieing run. Harper ran from first to home in 10.68 seconds, reaching a sprint speed of 27.7 feet per second, according to Statcast. Bryce scored the game-tying run on Bryson Stott’s two-out double into the right-field corner in the ninth inning. Stott then came around to score the winning run on Alec Bohm’s walk-off single to left to secure the Phillies’ comeback 4-3 victory over the Orioles. Bohm rounded first base and tossed his helmet to the side as soon as he saw Stott touch home plate, then he led a mob of teammates into right field to celebrate. This was the youth movement of the Phillies led by team leader Bryce Harper. It was a badly needed victory for a team that had lost five of its previous six games, including three one-run losses.
The top six hitters in the Phillies’ lineup were a combined 1-for-20 when Harper stepped to the plate with one out in the ninth. Walker had another solid outing after 5 2/3 inning and only allowed six hits and three earned runs.
Youth and Bench Come Through AGAIN!
Sosa hit a go-ahead homer in the seventh inning in a 6-4 victory over the Orioles, helping the Phillies capture the series and move into a three-way tie with San Francisco and Cincinnati for the three NL Wild Card spots. Sosa has been a bench player since the Phillies acquired him in July 2022. He started Wednesday because Phillies manager Rob Thomson wanted to give struggling shortstop Trea Turner a breather with an off-day coming up, as Sosa slotted into the nine-spot in the lineup.
Jake Cave made the Phillies’ Opening Day roster but got optioned on May 2 and tore up Triple-A pitching for more than two months before he rejoined the Phillies last Friday. He hit eighth in this game. Cave doubled to score the Phillies’ first run in the third inning. He made a fantastic catch at the left-field wall to save a run in the sixth.
Brandon Marsh walked and scored on Cave’s double to start the third. Sosa followed with a walk. Cave scored two batters later when Nick Castellanos singled to center to cut the Orioles’ lead to 3-2. J.T. Realmuto’s double in the fourth scored two to take a 4-3 lead. Cave batted .346 with 16 home runs, 49 RBIs, and a 1.113 OPS in Triple-A. It was the second-best OPS in the International League.
The Philadelphia Phillies youth and bench come through but if the vets can pick it up, this team could do some real damage. Hopefully, they continue through the weekend in Pittsburgh as they take on the Pirates.
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.