Phillies Split Four Game Set With Reds To Start Seven Game Roadtrip
After losing two out of three to the Marlins during the week, the Philadelphia Phillies headed to Cincinnati for a four-game weekend series and to open a seven-game road trip. Philadelphia won the second and final game of the series, putting their record at 6-10.
In game one of the series, it was a battle of the lefties. Nick Lodolo of the Reds faced off against Bailey Falter of the Phillies. The Phillies’ offense was able to score off Lodolo early. Nick Castellanos singled home Trea Turner in the top of the 1st to give the team a 1-0 lead.
From that point, it was all Cincinnati. The Reds would answer with a run of their own in the bottom half of the inning. After a scoreless second on both sides, the Reds put up a three spot in the bottom of the third, thanks to four two-out singles. Kyle Schwarber would add a solo home run in the 5th, but the Reds would answer with one run in each of the next two innings. The Reds won the game 6-2.
In game two, the Phillies would play one of their most complete games of the season. The bats were flying early and often as Taijuan Walker turned in his best start as a Phillie.
Kyle Schwarber drove in Trea Turner on just the third batter of the game to get the Phillies the lead. They would never give it back. Edmundo Sosa added an opposite-field home run in the second. Philadelphia would add three more in the third. The Reds would get one off of Walker in the third. Jonathan India made it a three run game in the seventh but in the ninth, the Phillies added three more runs to secure the big win. The Phillies won the game 8-3.
Game three was an embarrassing game overall for Philadelphia. Matt Strahm going into the game was performing the best on the young season out of the entire rotation. That changed on Saturday. Strahm allowed a solo home run to Will Myers in the first. In the third, Strahm was relieved by Andrew Bellatti but left two runners on base.
Andrew Bellatti then allowed a three-run home run to Will Myers. The Cincinnati offense didn’t stop while the Philadelphia one never got started. The Reds would win the game 13-0 and clinch at least a series tie.
Game four was the exact opposite of game three. The game started with a leadoff home run by Bryson Stott. The Phillies would then score 8 more in the first to take a 9-0 lead before Aaron Nola even took the mound.
This would be more than enough for the win as the Phillies would add five more throughout the day and the Reds’ offense would scrape across just three runs. The Phillies won 14-3, splitting the series in Cincinnati.
Here are three key takeaways from the four-game set.
Stott and Marsh Continue to Impress
Bryson Stott and Brandon Marsh have looked like completely different players so far in 2023. The trip to Cincinnati was another sign of that.
Bryson Stott has started his season in a remarkable way. He has got at least one hit in all 15 games. In Cincinnati, we saw Stott in the leadoff spot consistently for the first time. Stott got just one hit in each of the first three games, however, his defense stood strong. In the final game, Stott dominated.
The leadoff home run led the way for his own and the team’s success on the day. Stott would finish the day with three hits, two RBIs and one run scored. He has been one of the most consistent bats on the team and in the league thus far. He is tied with Bo Bichette for most hits in the league with 27.
Brandon Marsh also impressed. When Marsh is in the lineup, he succeeds. Facing the hard thowing lefty in Lodolo, Marsh was benched on Thursday. On Friday, he was back in the lineup and hit a solo home run.
A rough day on Saturday was followed by a phenomenal one on Sunday. In the fourth game. Marsh was 4/6 with three runs scored.
The two young players continued to succeed against the Reds this weekend.
Inconsistency and Sloppiness
What has seemed to be a problem in the first few series of the season continued this weekend. The Phillies have had countless inexcusable mistakes on the base paths and in the field. The defense was far from impressive in Cincinnati. The Phillies had an error in three out of four games this weekend. Edmundo Sosa committed all two of those errors.
While players are getting used to their new positions with injuries changing things and the season still very young, the team simply can’t afford to continue to make these mistakes.
On the base paths, the Phillies have had a glaring issue on the base paths. There weren’t as many mistakes this weekend, but Trea Turner did get thrown at second base on Saturday on a fielders choice throw away that turned into a mess rather than first and second with Kyle Schwarber coming to the plate.
The team has also been extremely inconsistent as seen through scoring margins on the weekend. The offense has shown the ability to score large run totals or none at all. They put up eight runs and 14 runs in two of the games, but scored zero and two in the other two games.
If the team hopes to win , they must score high numbers at more consistent rates.
Where We Stand
While it is extremely early to look at a playoff picture, it’s important to note where the Phillies sit in the division race compared to rivals. The results so far, have not been great. While Philadelphia has been unimpressive, the Braves and Mets have been the opposite.
The Braves are 12-4 and hold a six game lead over the Phillies. The good news is that there are 146 games remaining. The bad news is that a six game lead is hard to overcome. The Phillies have built themselves quite the hole early on.
The Mets are 10-6 and have a four game lead over the Phillies after sweeping the A’s this weekend.
The Marlins have even been more impressive than the Phillies. They are 8-8 and hold a two game lead over the Phillies after taking two out of three games from the Diamondbacks.
There is a longs way to go, but the Phillies have lots of work to do.
The Phillies next head to the South Side of Chicago to face the Chicago White Sox in a three-game set to finish off the seven-game road trip. Both teams hold a 6-10 record. Chicago is without their star shortstop Tim Anderson.
Philadelphia can finish with a winning record on the road trip if they win the series.