The hot streak that Kyle Schwarber is on right now is other worldly stuff. The June player of the month has hit nine home runs in his past 15 games. Also, he has taken over the National League lead in homers with 27. Schwarbs has carried the Phillies offensively and it has been much needed with the absence of Bryce Harper.
Kyle Schwarber is the first Phillies player with back-to-back multi home run games since Chase Utley, April 13-14, 2006.— PhilliesNotes (@PhilliesNotes) July 7, 2022
Sadly, his efforts were not enough to help the Phillies secure the win tonight. The two starting pitchers in this game were Aaron Nola and Josiah Gray. This was by far the best pitching matchup we will see all series. Both pitchers were untouchable through the first three innings as Gray allowed one hit and Nola allowed none in those frames.
Then in the top of the fourth, Juan Soto hit a 3-2 single up the middle and the Nationals had their first hit of the game. After a groundout, Soto was on second with two outs. Yadiel Hernandez proceeded to rip a double into right-center field and the Nationals jumped out to a 1-0 lead.
The Phillies responded in the bottom of the fourth, or should I say Schwarber responded in the bottom of the fourth by launching his 26th home run to right field. The game would remain tied until Mr. Schwarber stepped up to the plate again in the bottom of the sixth. Any guesses on what he did? Yep, another homer. This one hit off of the second deck in right field. Opposing teams might have to consider giving Schwarber the Barry Bonds treatment with the way he is hitting.
Unfortunately, Nola was unable to provide a shutdown seventh inning after the Phillies took the lead. After getting Josh Bell out to lead off the inning, Nola allowed three straight hits including a two-RBI double by Luis Garcia that gave Washington the 3-2 lead. Odubel Herrera provided no help for Nola when he took a brutal angle to try and catch the ball over his head. Nevertheless. the Phillies needed someone other than Schwarber to chip in on offense and retake the lead.
Oh man… Odubel Herrera looks like a Little Leaguer out there— The Game Day MLB (@TheGameDayMLB) July 7, 2022
But, that was not the case. Josiah Gray finished his outing after six innings and struck out a career-high 11 batters. Other than Schwarber no one had success against Gray. The Nationals bullpen, which is normally not great, even shut the ‘Phils down in the final three innings. Nola finished with another quality start going 7.2 innings and allowing three runs with three strikeouts.
The main problem was that the non-Schwarber Phillies had one hit. Nick Castellanos was the only other player on the team to get a hit in this game. You are going to have a very difficult time winning when only two players get hits. That was ultimately the downfall of the Phillies in this one.
The Phillies look to win the rubber match tomorrow with Bailey Falter on the mound for a 4:05 start. He will be opposed by Joan Adon, who enters the game with a 6.97 ERA and a 1-11 record. Hopefully, someone other than Schwarbs will show up with the series on the line.