The Phillies and Brewers came into this game both struggling on offense. While Milwaukee had won four games in a row, they still had five regulars hitting under .200, something they probably didn’t anticipate when the season started. We’ve all been witness to the struggles of the Phillies’ offense, so what was expected most from tonight was that there would be a pitching duel between Freddy Peralta and Ranger Suarez.
For a while, that’s exactly what we got. The Phillies opened the scoring in the first inning when Bryce Harper drove him Jean Segura with a one out double, making the score 1-0, but the Brewers would be get one back in the third thanks to a sacrifice fly by Hunter Renfroe that tied the score at one.
Other than that, the game was pretty much a slog to get through. Suarez had a pretty rough first inning, loading the bases before getting out of the jam on his own, but the first two innings took roughly an hour to play thanks to spotty control from both pitchers. They would settle in and eventually pitch rather well, yielding not a whole lot of offense from either team, but neither was really able to give their team a ton of innings. Suarez would give way to Seranthony Dominguez in the fifth inning after getting the first two outs of the inning, but a single allowed to Christian Yelich combined with an elevated pitch count meant Joe Girardi decided to deploy the bullpen. Dominguez got out of that inning, then threw another before handing the game over to Jose Alvarado.
Now, we’ve already gotten used to the Alvarado Experience. We know that it can go one of two ways: either he’s going to strike out the side with maybe a weak groundball mixed in, or his wildness will get the best of him and he’ll allow a crucial run or two. In this game, we were treated to Alvarado #2. He walked Mike Brosseau to start the inning, allowed a single to Victor Caratini, then a wild pitch moved them both up a base. Andrew McCutchen would hit a fly ball to right field that allowed Brosseau to score and give Milwaukee the lead, but to his credit, Alvarado escaped the rest of the inning unscathed. The Brewers had the lead, but it would not last.
Nick Nelson had an unsung inning in the eighth that kept the Brewers lead at 2-1 before Aaron Ashby would face the Phillies in his third inning of relief work in the bottom half of the eighth. That’s right, Ashby would be ridden by the Brewers for into a third inning of work thanks to Devin Williams and Josh Hader not being available on the evening. Three straight singles from Bryce Harper, Nick Castellanos and J.T. Realmuto loaded the bases for Kyle Schwarber, a chance to take the lead in the game in his hands. Ashby would strike out Schwarber for the first out, bringing Alec Bohm to the plate. Ashby would not face Bohm, instead ceding to Brad Boxberger to give Milwaukee the right on right platoon advantage. In this matchup, Bohm would deliver, drilling a line drive to the right-center field gap, bringing in two runs and giving the Phillies the lead.
BOHM PUTS THE PHILS IN FRONT. pic.twitter.com/ZZCBIHBGJa— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) April 23, 2022
Johan Camargo would follow with an insurance RBI that put the game at 4-2, Phillies, before the team handed the ball off to Corey Knebel in the ninth. Knebel did what he has done all year so far and shut the Brewers down in order, securing the win for the Phillies and giving a much needed opening win of the series.
Now, I know that you’re wondering, who is the key player of the game for the Phillies. After all, in order to win a game like this, there has to be a big hit from someone, a key out made by a pitcher, a clutch defensive play in the field that preserves a lead. Well folks, I’ve scoured the internet far and wide and I’ve found the real reason the Phillies won this game.
The Phillies can apparently only score when I’m not watching. After Schwarber’s K, I went outside.— Smartin Jones (@TheSmartyJones) April 23, 2022
Folks, when you thank someone for the Phillies’ win tonight, make sure to thank the horse.