The Phillies had a successful series against one of the hottest teams in the National League. The Atlanta Braves came into the series with three straight wins as they continue trying to get hot and control the NL East. Right now, they are three games back of the New York Mets.
Unbelievable pitching and timely hitting helped the Phillies split the series in game two. Game one was rough, but in all honesty, the game could have been marked as a loss before the game even started. The Phillies were trying to get by with a bullpen game, and no one really expected it to work. They came out and did their job, though, and took one of two from Atlanta.
Flame-throwing-rookie Spencer Strider threw 6.2 innings and allowed just one run in the first game of the series, throwing a ton of fastballs to overpower hitters and lead his team to the win.
The Phillies’ bats were quiet throughout this game, and the team only managed four hits. The rough game at the plate was no trouble for Darick Hall. Hall had two hits including an RBI double in the top of the second. The Phillies also had hits from Bryson Stott and Nick Castellanos.
Nick Nelson got the start for the Phillies and pitched decently, but the guys who came in behind him struggled to keep the game within reach. The Phillies allowed thirteen runs over eight innings.
Atlanta had an amazing day offensively. The Braves had three guys with three hits in the game—Dansby Swanson, Eddie Rosario, and Marcell Ozuna. They had two home runs and were seeing the ball well, punishing the Phillies for their mistakes.
Charlie Morton, a 38-year-old veteran, got the start for the Braves in game two of the series. He threw very well, going 6.2 innings only allowing three hits. The shutout performance lowered his season ERA to 4.09.
The bats were yet again quiet for the Phils, but Nick Castellanos’ go-ahead home run was the highlight of the day. Castellanos, who has been known to hit for a lot of power in August, has 41 career home runs in August.
Although Castellanos had the clutch hit, none of that would have been possible without the outstanding performance by Zack Wheeler. Wheeler went seven innings allowing one run on five hits. As usual, his slider was on point, and he was very efficient throughout the game.
Orlando Arcia’s home run was the only offense the Braves found in game two. Ultimately, David Robertson got his first save since his return to Philadelphia, and the Phillies won 3-1.
Did Dave Dombrowski Make the Right Moves?
The Phillies made three major trades at the end of the deadline—They received Noah Syndergaard, Brandon Marsh, and David Robertson.
Syndergaard will be a good middle-to-back of the rotation guy. They could use Brandon Marsh to be a good centerfield bat towards the bottom of the lineup, and they need Robertson to help out the bullpen. The Phillies’ bullpen so far this year has done pretty well, and they look to add even more depth.
The Phillies have been looking for a good defensive Center fielder who also has some promise in his bat. Marsh has struggled at the plate so far this year, but there is definitely hope he turns things around. Marsh is also a young player and is only in his second year as an MLB player.
As we just heard, Zach Eflin was moved to the 60-day IL and will be out—at least—until the end of August. But it’s also very possible he could be done for the year. Eflin has had recurring knee soreness after his injury last year. Syndergaard looks to fill his role and eliminate the idea of having Bailey Falter pitching in the five spot.
David Robertson is joining his team for his second chance with the Phillies. He had a rough go his first time around with the club as he pitched in seven total games with the team in two seasons. However, he has been much better this year for the Chicago Cubs. He has a 2.18 ERA in 37 appearances and should help out the bullpen while also adding some postseason experience to the roster.
The Phillies have a .247 team batting average this year and have hit 132 home runs. They have been in the upper half of the league in most offensive categories this season, but they now look to find consistency as the bats get hot. The Phillies hope to make a push for the playoffs in a wild card spot, and as we all know, good teams know how to get hot and stay consistent.
While the Phillies do not have to be the best hitting team in the league, they do need to be able to compete with the best hitting teams. They have a solid pitching rotation and a pretty good defensive team. If they want any shot at going deep into the postseason, they need to be able to compete with the best because only the best team will be on top and the end of the season.
The Phillies now welcome the Nationals to Citizens Bank Park for a four-game series.