The series against the Rangers was a dud for the Phillies. The offense was nonexistant and the pitching didn’t do much either. This first game against the Padres felt important, not just for playoff reasons, but for the team’s psyche. They wanted to maintain the momentum they’ve had since letting Joe Girardi go and not go back into the doldrums that have sometimes haunted them after tough series.
When the game started, it didn’t look good. Joe Musgrove was on the hill for San Diego and he has been outstanding this season. Ranger Suarez was his opposite and when he gave up a home run to Eric Hosmer, it felt like it would be one of those nights.
That was the first home run to a lefty allowed by Ranger Suárez since Aug. 11, 2019. Scooter Gennett.— Matt Gelb (@MattGelb) June 24, 2022
The thing is, Suarez kept the Padres at bat after that home run and gave the Phillies’ offense enough time to start to mount a comeback. The first run came in the fifth when Didi Gregorius singled with one out, hustled to second on a wild pitch by Musgrove then scored on a single by Odubel Herrera. While in the field, Gregorius also made some fine plays on the night, continuing his solid play for the team since he came back from the injured list.
The real damage, though, came in the sixth inning. With Musgrove still on the mound, Bryson Stott started it with a double down the right field line, then was followed by a massive shot to center field by Kyle “Mr. June” Schwarber that juuuuust cleared the fence.
KYLE SCHWARBER'S 9TH BOMB IN THE MONTH OF JUNE!! pic.twitter.com/3ePRsby7nL— Brodes Media (@BrodesMedia) June 24, 2022
Since they were facing Musgrove, those runs felt enormous since he has been so good this year, but they as an offense weren’t done. Bryce Harper and Nick Castellanos hit back to back one out singles to bring up J.T. Realmuto. To say Realmuto has been polarizing of late would be a massive understatement and facing Musgrove, the matchup was definitely in favor of the Padres. Realmuto, though, sized up a hanging curveball and drilled it to right field, just over the top of the fence and into the stands for a three run shot and a bigger lead.
JT Realmuto oppo taco! pic.twitter.com/BXMCveiMpU— Talkin’ Baseball (@TalkinBaseball_) June 24, 2022
It was Realmuto’s first home run since May 26 (!) and gave needed breathing room to the team.
As the offense was doing their thing, Suarez kept truckin’ along. His 7 1⁄3 innings was his longest outing of the season, giving up two runs on seven hits. After the Hosmer home run, it never felt like the Padres’ offense was able to square a ball up against him, something that happened a lot last season but has been less frequent this year. It was a big start for him.
Even when the Padres threatened a bit in the eighth inning, getting two men on with no outs (and an assist from the third base umpire), Seranthony Dominguez was brought in to clean things up a bit and mastered his opponent, underscoring his importance to this bullpen as there was no one else the team would have wanted with San Diego threatening a bit in that inning.
It was a good win for the Phillies, one they hope to build on as the weekend continues.