October 4, 2023

Phillies swept in 2-game set with Rangers


AP Photo/Matt Slocum

After Wednesday night’s game, the Phillies were officially swept by the Texas Rangers. In the two-game series, the Rangers took both. The Phillies’ offense was definitely not one of the few things that went well for the Phillies. They now have now lost their last two series, as the Mets took two of three over the weekend, and now the Rangers took two.

Game Summaries

The series started out rough for the hometown Phillies, as the Texas Rangers came out swinging the bats in Philadelphia. Ranger Suarez took the mound for the Phillies. He pitched 5 innings and allowed 5 runs (3 earned) on 6 hits, striking out just three. Ranger let up two home runs which were just enough for the Rangers.

Although the Phillies lost the game, their offense looked good. They had 11 hits, with four guys stringing multiple hits: Alec Bohm, J.T. Realmuto, Didi Gregorius, and Matt Vierling. One of those hits from J.T. was a 397-foot home run to left field. The team however left six runners on base and was 2-10 with runners in scoring position.

Then, the Phillies had to go to the bullpen in the sixth. The bullpen let up one run on three hits and struck out seven. The Phillies bullpen has performed above everybody’s standards.

After the five runs attached to Ranger’s name, they let up just one more run. And that was it for the Texas offense.

Game two in this series was rough. That is really the only way you could sum this game up. Now, if you’re a pitcher, this is the game to watch. Thanks to an unbelievable outing from Phillies ace Zack Wheeler, the Phillies were able to stay in the game. Without his start in this series finale, it would have been a blowout. The Phillies were unable to produce a run until the bottom of the 10th inning. The team is constantly letting their pitchers down and not giving them any run support.

However, on the opposing side, Marin Perez was great. He went seven innings and let up four hits and zero runs. He was mainly throwing his typical sinker and changeup combination. Perez made this Phillies lineup look like a roster of minor leaguers. He shut this offense down and gave the Phillies no hope when they were up to bat.

With the team’s horrific hitting, Nick Castellanos still finds a way to go three-for-four at the dish with two singles and a double. Nick is hitting .307 on the season with 3 home runs and 12 RBIs. He has been a huge factor for the Phillies, and without his efforts tonight the Phillies would’ve been held to just three hits.

Who’s been getting the starts in centerfield?

We see this reoccurring theme that the winner of the centerfield job is a mystery. One day it is Matt Vierling and another it’s Herrera. It was mainly Vierling’s job at the beginning of the year, but now with Odubel being back from his oblique injury, he will be starting more. However, going into every game it could be completely different than the day before.

Odubel Herrera is batting .292 with two home runs and seven RBIs. Now, that’s also in 24 at-bats, but Matt Vierling definitely was not putting up those numbers in his first 24 at-bats. Another reason this job is unknown is that now the Phillies brought up another centerfielder—Roman Quinn. Joe Girardi, as mentioned before, needs to have consistency in this lineup if he wants guys to be successful.

Right now, the starter is based on matchup. If it’s a lefty on the bump, then Vierling will play. And righty, it’ll be Odubel. With Castellanos now playing lots of right field because of Bryce Harper’s injury, maybe they keep him there and try to get Bryce to transition over to center. That would give this offense another option for hitting. However, one of those three outfielders who’s not playing that day with Harper in right could DH. It gives them the chance to brighten up their defense and tremendously help their offense, which clearly still needs some help getting hits and stringing them together.

New look Lineups

Joe Girardi continues to have completely different lineups every game. Last night, Joe put Alec Bohm in the leadoff spot. Alec said he never batted first and is not used to doing it. Earlier in the season, he was moving what seemed to be random players in the leadoff spot. He had Jean Segura and J.T. Realmuto hitting in that spot, even though they have been historically poor there. This is hurting some of the Phillies top hitters. The leadoff spot has been the Phillies’ struggling point. Everyone has been struggling in that spot. No matter who is in that spot, they always struggle. If the Phillies could figure out who to put in that spot, it would be a huge upgrade for this team, and it would help them out tremendously.

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