If you think you’ve heard that storyline before, well, it’s because you have. Last October, Alec Bohm started the Phillies’ ninth-inning rally by plating a run on an RBI hit by pitch. This October, Bohm pulled an RBI double down the left-field line, giving the Phillies an early lead. It may not have been flashy or powerful, but Bohm did what he’s done since April—find a way to drive in runs consistently.
To make the deja vu even more significant, you may remember a strong outing from Zack Wheeler last October when he allowed no runs over two hits in 6.1 innings of work. Yesterday, Wheeler stole the show once again, allowing one run on five hits across 6.2 innings.
Wheeler’s fastball touched 99mph, the highest he has hit in months. His sweeper earned him a career-high five strikeouts.
“The crowd went nuts, and I got chills,” Wheeler said about walking to the bullpen.
An inning later, Bryson Stott and Christian Pache added insurance, with each recording an RBI single.
Bohm, Bryson Stott, Christian Pache, and the Phillies took down Marlins’ lefty Jesus Luzardo, who posted a 3.63 ERA in the regular season. Because of his high velocity, unusual release point, and ability to hide the ball, Luzardo tends to have success when facing lefties, but the right-handed hitters in the Phillies’ made sure to capitalize.
Nick Castellanos cushioned the Phils’ lead with his RBI double, and the backend of the bullpen—Jose Alvarado, Jeff Hoffman, and Craig Kimbrel—kept the Marlins from inching their way back into the game.
Tonight, the Phillies will look to sweep the Marlins out of Philadelphia, which would ultimately lead to the Phillies’ advancement to the NLDS.
More info to come…