Drew Smyly wasn’t throwing a lot of strikes early in this one, and it made you think, “Hmm, where is he going with this?” Since the previous evening’s game ended with an especially demoralizing walk, it was indicative of the traumatically dumb loss the Phillies had undergone prior to this somehow dominant win.
Turns out, Smyly lasted seven shut-out innings, keeping even Pete Alonso from scoring, which is like trying to fight a polar bear with low velocity fastball, and winning. Gabe Kapler, in a big old “SHUT UP” to his critics, defiantly sent Cole Irvin and Nick Pivetta out there to finish the last two innings, and the two former starters who became relievers earlier this season due to ineffectiveness were able to maintain the shut-out.
In a game following a devastating walk-off loss, and without Bryce Harper as he nursed a sore hand after getting hit by a pitch you would expect the offense to have an excuse not to come through, as well. But there it was, scoring five runs like everything’s fine, with the top three in the order—Cesar Hernandez, J.T. Realmuto, and Corey Dickerson—going 8-for-15 and knocking in all five runs.
Hernandez led off the game with a massive bomb, then singled with two men on base in his next at-bat to make it a 2-0 game off Mets starter Marcus Stroman, who after catching a line drive on the mound to end a disappointing first inning, lasted only four innings. Realmuto followed Hernandez with an RBI single and Dickerson brought in two more with a double.
It was more evidence that Realmuto should be here forever, and hell, maybe Dickerson should stick around, too. Adam Haseley ran down a ball in center that exemplified why he should be here as a defensive asset (and hopefully more) in the years to come as well. The Phillies did commit three errors last night, however. So if you’re looking for the part of them that didn’t show up—there’s always at least one—you could argue it was the defense.
Smyly put forth a performance that Matt Klentak was praying for when he acquired him (but has been unable to get out of him consistently). With the win, the Phillies are three games out of the wild card race (are we still doing this?), in a tie with the Brewers and a game and a half behind the Diamondbacks, while the Cubs and Nationals continue to hang onto the two playoff spots.