June has been very kind to the Phillies. Coming into tonight, they had won 18 games in the month, one of their best showings in quite a while and with one of their better pitchers on the mound to start the game, they had a chance to make it 19, which would be excellent. The last two nights were frustrating games where the offense didn’t show, so they also had that extra motivation for the game, needing a win to salvage something out of the series with Atlanta.
Boy did they come through.
It didn’t start off well. After a scoreless first inning, Aaron Nola loaded the bases with one out, looking to induce a groundball to get that double play to get out of the inning. He got that groundball, but someone forgot there was only one out.
Didi Gregorius forgot how many outs there were... missed double play. Oof pic.twitter.com/vVtbIFeROc— Pickswise (@Pickswise) June 30, 2022
Now, normally, these types of things have been harbingers of doom for the Phillies. When something goes that far amiss, the ground falls out from underneath them and they go on to some kind of embarrassing loss that derails their season. Tonight though, they atoned for it and more.
The bottom of the second was a masterclass in offense that they haven’t done in a while. Four straight hits to start the inning gave them a 2-1 lead, but with Ian Anderson struggling, they went for the throat. Matt Vierling doubled in two more runs to make it 4-1, then Rhys Hoskins walked with one out to put two men on for Nick Castellanos. We all know how much Castellanos has been struggling, so for him to do this
was a huge boost not only for him, but also for the team. The 7-1 lead was more than enough for Nola, who kept flipping curveballs up to the hitters like it was going out of style, curveballs that the Braves just could not hit. As the Braves struggled against Nola, the Phillies kept ringing up more runs, this time, a solo shot from none other than Darick Hall for his first hit and home run of his career.
The fourth inning brought more runs as, with two outs and two men on, Kyle Schwarber put a final exclamation point on his spectacular month of June by blasting his twelfth home run of the month.
June isn't over until Kyle Schwarber says so. pic.twitter.com/ax0Ep1AgK1— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) June 30, 2022
Rhys Hoskins would follow it up with a home run of his own and the team had a 12-1 lead that surely the Braves could not get back from.
Well, in the top of the fifth, Michael Harris II got two back for the Braves when he hit a titanic shot to center field to make it 12-3, then got another in the seventh when Adam Duvall continued his assault on Phillies’ pitching with a solo shot of his own, making it 12-4. As nervy as that might be, Nola shut things down for good to end the inning, then gave way to Jeurys Familia and Mark Appel to close things out.
For the offense, though, they weren’t quite done. Atlanta waved the white flag by bringing in Mike Ford to pitch, which looked like a decent bet to be successful when Mickey Moniak popped out to start the eighth. Fortunately for Philadelphia, they had more in them as, after an Odubel Herrera walk, Darick Hall put an exclamation mark on the game by ripping his second home run of the game into right field, tallying two more and making the score 14-4.
DARICK HALL HAS 2 BIG LEAGUE HITS AND THEY’RE BOTH HOMERS TODAY— Ben Verlander (@BenVerlander) July 1, 2022
Go ahead and smile, big man. Position player pitching or not, two home runs is two home runs.
This is the type of offense the team has missed of late. Hopefully they can carry it over into an equally as important series against the Cardinals this weekend.