When the Phillies recently surpassed 10,000 wins, I attempted to rank the ten best wins in franchise history. I think it’s safe to say that Wednesday night’s 7-5 win over the Cincinnati Reds won’t be bumping any of my choices off the list. But when you’re fighting for a playoff spot, every win looks equally pretty in the standings.
Here are the highlights:
Not a marquee matchup
Heading into the game, there was reason to think that the starting pitching matchup of T.J. Zeuch vs. Cristopher Sanchez wasn’t going to be a pitchers’ duel. Sanchez is a minor league callup who is about seventh on the Phillies’ depth chart, while Zeuch had a 13.50 ERA in his two previous starts this season.
Zeuch pitched as poorly as advertised, giving up six runs in 2.2 innings, and it really should have been worse considering how many runners the Phillies left on base the first three innings. On the other hand, Sanchez turned in a perfectly respectable performance giving up three runs in six innings. You’ll take that from a spot starter just about every time.
A career-high six innings for Cristopher Sánchez. It wasn't always pretty and against a lackluster lineup, but it's a fine effort for a spot start.— Matt Gelb (@MattGelb) August 25, 2022
J.T. stays hot
J.T. Realmuto has been one of the best players in baseball since the All-Star break, and that continued on Wednesday. He went 3-5 including a home run in the third.
J.T. Realmuto is on another level! pic.twitter.com/45o6Wr5H1v— Brodes Media (@BrodesMedia) August 25, 2022
Cut down at the plate
When Realmuto hit a ball off the top of the right field fence in the seventh inning, it looked like the Phillies were going to score an insurance run. With two outs, Rhys Hoskins was able to get a good jump off first base and should have made it home safely. Aristides Aquino had other ideas:
A 99 MPH cannon.— MLB (@MLB) August 25, 2022
Run on Aquino and you will get punished. pic.twitter.com/9eQLZn9bG8
The bullpen continues to leak
While they were able to preserve the lead over the final three innings, it was far from a pristine night for the Phillies’ bullpen. Nick Nelson allowed a run in the seventh and Conor Brogdon gave up another in the eighth. That isn’t going to cut it on nights when the offense doesn’t score seven runs.
And then came the ninth
David Robertson was in for the save, and the first batter he faced hit a routine fly ball to left. The problem was that the Phillies had a non-outfielder in Yairo Munoz playing out there, and he botched the play.
Fortunately, Robertson was able to work around the miscue. He gave up another hit, but with one out, he got Kyle Farmer to ground the ball sharply to Alec Bohm at third base. Bohm converted the double play, and the victory was sealed.
Alec Bohm turns a beauty of a double play to end this game! pic.twitter.com/hvYG1xcVwW— Brodes Media (@BrodesMedia) August 25, 2022
The Phillies will attempt to finish off the four-game sweep on Thursday behind Aaron Nola. Nola pitched poorly in his last start, but that was against the Mets. As we’ve seen over the past three days, the Reds aren’t quite as good as the Mets, and it stands to reason that Nola will fare better this time around.