Some teams win because they have an elite starting rotation that can shut down opponents on a regular basis. That’s not really the Phillies’ thing. The pitchers have made it clear that if the Phillies are going to beat teams, the offense pretty much needs to bash them into submission. That strategy worked well on Tuesday, as the Phillies used five home runs - two by Corey Dickerson - to surge past the Braves 6-5.
After the Braves jumped all over Aaron Nola early on Monday, the Phillies returned the favor on Tuesday, jumping all over starter Max Fried in the first inning. J.T. Realmuto and Bryce Harper got things started with back-to-back solo shots, and Dickerson hit a two-run blast to put the Phillies up 4-0.
.@MCoreyDickerson SMOKED that one ! #RingTheBell pic.twitter.com/nbjTgLbdxy— Philadelphia Phillies (@Phillies) September 10, 2019
The Phillies aren’t really a “cruise to victory” team, so it wasn’t surprising when Jason Vargas gave those runs back in the third inning.
At this point, Braves fans were probably thinking up new ways to write tweets with “Unsustainable” in them. But the Phillies offense was determined to have those tweets languish in draft form for at least another night. Ronald Acuna tried his best to rob Scott Kingery of a home run, but all he did was give us an even better highlight.
It may be September, but it’s STILL a Scott boy summer! #RingTheBell pic.twitter.com/vhHnscHLMH— Philadelphia Phillies (@Phillies) September 11, 2019
After that, Corey Dickerson decidedly to go the more traditional route for his second blast of the night.
Our favorite player! #RingTheBell pic.twitter.com/mEhmou4KW6— Philadelphia Phillies (@Phillies) September 11, 2019
The Phillies offense did their job, but thanks to Vargas’ early exit, the bullpen would be responsible for the final six innings. That’s often a frightening proposition, especially when the first guy summoned from the bullpen is (gulp) Nick Vincent.
They weren’t perfect - Jared Hughes allowed a solo home run in the eighth - and there was some assistance from the defense - yet another runner thrown out by Realmuto and another outfield assist from Harper - but they got the job done. (Even Vincent? Especially Vincent!)
I realize the Braves (losers of two of their last three) might not be the toughest team on the Phillies’ schedule, but when you’re fighting for a playoff spot in September, it doesn’t really matter who the opponent is. You need to find ways to win games, and thanks to Dickerson and the rest of the hitters, that’s what they did.