December 3, 2023

Phillies unable to keep momentum going as they fall to Padres at home


Bill Streicher/USA TODAY

After a phenomenal series win in Los Angeles, the Phillies came back to Philadelphia to take on a very good San Diego Padres team on a gorgeous Tuesday evening in South Philadelphia at Citizens Banks Park. The Phillies’ offense was only able to produce three runs in the entire series, and the team was without fight.

Game summaries

Phillies starter Zach Eflin pitched a solid game where he gave up one earned run and had five strikeouts. Unfortunately, the bats couldn’t back Eflin’s excellent pitching performance. 

Mike Clevinger made it look easy on the mound, as he pitched a very stellar game after a year off from elbow surgery. The Padres offense made a big impact Tuesday night at the Bank. It was just an off night for the Phillies, as they struggled to get the bats rolling. Having Bryce Harper out because of getting a shot was a huge loss for the Phillies’ offense, but they should be making better contact and rising the scoreboard up considering how productive the Phils’ offense was in Los Angeles.

The only positive thing that came out of a horrible offensive effort was Nick Castellanos’ two-hit game. In the top of the seventh, Phillies reliever James Norwood pitched and gave up two runs to make it 3-0 Padres. The Phillies were unable to come back, and they were shut out by the Padres in game one.

This was a game in which Kyle Schwarber struggled at the plate. He was 0-for-4 with two strikeouts. This type of performance needs to rapidly change moving forward, and he can’t be in a slump like he was on Tuesday night.

Coming off a brutal series opener this past Tuesday, the Phillies finally had the bats going, and the pitching was spectacular. Zack Wheeler had all of his stuff working, and he was very effective.

In the bottom of the first inning, the Phillies got off to a sharp start, as Rhys Hoskins and Nick Castellanos both made it on base. J.T. Realmuto singled on a ground ball to center field to allow Hoskins to score. The scoring continued for Philadelphia in the bottom of the third, as Rhys Hoskins ripped one to left field for a home run. Then, in the bottom of the fourth, the excellent hitting by the Phillies kept heating up as Obudel Herrera doubled to right field to score Kyle Schwarber. This put the Phillies ahead by 3-0.

Zack Wheeler pitched amazingly, as he threw seven innings, struck out nine, gave up four hits, and allowed zero earned runs. Jose Alvarado pitched a scoreless eighth, and Phillies’ manager Joe Girardi made the move to bring in closer Corey Knebel to get the save.

The Phillies came through with a 3-0 victory to tie the series. The Phillies’ pitching was stellar, as they came up big against a talented San Diego Padres team.

Zack Wheeler is finally showing his 2021 form. He has excelled against some of the tougher teams in the league, and we all saw him lock down the Padres. Wheeler showed what he was capable of doing, and it’ll be interesting to see if he can maintain his command and keep his pitches moving in his next start. Wheeler has been pretty consistent as he has been pitching well as you can see that his ERA is now 3.49 on the season. He is known as the new Phillies ace because he has been doing a terrific job locating pitches in the right spot.

On a gorgeous Thursday spring afternoon at Citizens Bank Park, the San Diego Padres took control of the game as they dominated the Phillies’ starting nine.

The scoring started in the top of the fourth inning when Robinson Cano singled a sharp line drive that scored Jurickson Profar to make the score 1-0. Then, a couple of minutes later, Ha-Seong Kim hit a sacrifice fly to left field, and Will Myers scored.

Phillies’ starter Kyle Gibson wasn’t the most efficient with his pitch count, but it was one of his better starts, and he kept the Phillies in the game. He pitched 5.2 innings, gave up two earned runs, and struck seven batters out.

Unfortunately, the Phillies were unable to get anything going against Yu Darvish, and they faced Taylor Rogers in the ninth. Rogers has been one of the best closers in baseball thus far.

A good sign from Gibby

Kyle Gibson has not thrown overly well against the Padres in his career, but he did a good job of controlling them on Thursday. His slider and cutter have been effective in getting swings and misses, and his sinker has enough cut to fool batters. It’ll be interesting to see how he carries himself moving forward after a successful start against the Padres.

His season ERA now sits at 3.98.

Hoskins’ hot bat

Rhys Hoskins has been doing a very good job getting decent at-bats as of late. He had two hits in yesterday’s game. This is a good sign, as he can help spark the offense while Bryce Harper is absent. Hoskins has continued to show fight, and his confidence is on the rise, as he is looking much better at the dish. It’ll be very important for this ball club for Hoskins to keep grinding to get on base.

The Phillies will host the Dodgers for a weekend series beginning Friday night.

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