It took four-plus hours and 400 pitches but the Phillies have extended their win streak to seven games and have swept the Milwaukee Brewers.
The Phillies came into Thursday as hot as any team in baseball, but they had a tough test in front of them facing reigning NL Cy Young winner, Corbin Burnes. With a chance to sweep one of the National league’s best teams the Phillies sent Zach Eflin to the mound.
The Brewers struck in the first inning on a home run by Willy Adames. The ‘Phils answered in the top of the second when they loaded the bases with no outs. Unfortunately, they were only able to get one run on a Bryson Stott RBI groundout. Both pitchers struggled with command early in the game. As there were seven walks through the first three innings.
Burnes set a career-high in walks with four. The Phillies were able to make Burnes throw a ton of pitches early in the game and thought they had something going in the top of the fourth. Didi Gregorius started off the inning with a triple but was stranded, he was the fourth Phillies baserunner stranded in scoring position.
Eflin seemingly allowed baserunners every inning. Which is a big reason why he was only able to go four innings. While he only allowed one run and four hits in his outing his 95 pitches were why he left the game early.
Once again the Phillies got runners on against Burnes in the top of the fifth. Kyle Schwarber led off by reaching on a drop-third strike. Then Rhys Hoskins singled to put runners on first and second with Bryce Harper at the plate. Harper lined out to first base and Burnes’ day was officially done after 4.1 innings.
Nick Castellanos then stepped up and hit a broken-bat single to right. The bases were loaded for J.T. Realmuto. He worked a 3-2 count before hitting a sacrifice fly to left field, scoring Schwarber and giving the ‘Phils the 2-1 lead. Next was Didi Gregorius and on a crazy check swing, the ball snuck down the left-field line and the Phillies went up 3-1. Gregorius had three hits in the game and was a home-run shy of the cycle.
Headed to the bottom of the fifth, Nick Nelson entered the game for the Phillies. After giving up a leadoff double, Nelson settled down and got the next three hitters out. Both teams were going deep into their bullpens for the second-half of this game.
Connor Brogdon entered the game in the sixth and immediately gave up a solo homer to Hunter Renfroe. Then an infield single had the Brewers in position to possibly tie the game. But, that was not the case as Brogdon was able to work out of it and keep the 3-2 lead for the ‘Phils.
Bryce Harper was not happy with the Brewers pulling within one run. So he decided to lead off the top of the seventh by hitting a monster blast to center field. Phillies went back up two runs on the 15th home run of the season for the two-time MVP.
Bryce Harper crushes a 1-2 pitch off the center-field scoreboard. 421 feet. 110.2 mph. pic.twitter.com/nz3tAHmkpU— Todd Zolecki (@ToddZolecki) June 9, 2022
Then in the top of the eighth, Schwarber put the dagger in the Brewers by launching a two-run home run to right-center field. Schwarber loves hitting in June as he has hit 20 homers the past two seasons in this month.
The ‘Phils led 6-2 after eight innings but that was not all they would score in the series sweep. Odubel Herrera tacked on a two-run home run in the ninth to give the Phillies eight runs. The Brewers added one run in the ninth but that is all they would get as the game ended 8-3.
This has been an awesome turnaround for the Phillies. Since firing Joe Girardi the team is 6-0 and has averaged 7.8 runs per game. I am not sure if that move was a wake-up call for the team or not but they are certainly playing like it. The ‘Phils now sit at 28-29 on the year and are nine games behind the Mets in the NL East. The Phillies head back home with a three-game weekend series against the Diamondbacks. Kyle Gibson will get the ball and look to extend the win streak to eight games.