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Keep beating the bad teams: Phillies 6, Pirates 0

Winning the games that they have to

MLB: Pittsburgh Pirates at Philadelphia Phillies Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports

Prior to the last Mets-Phillies series in New York, there was some verbal jabbing going on between the fanbases about the Phillies and how they can’t measure up to the better teams in the league. Mets fans were discussing how the Phillies were only in the playoff spot they were in since they were playing bad teams and winning those games (not remembering that the Mets play the same teams apparently). It’s kind of a strange argument to have since playing and beating bad teams is how playoff teams get into the playoffs. Ideally, one would like the Phillies to play well against all teams and they have. Outside of those pesky Mets, the Phillies have actually played quite well against teams with winning records, but the Pirates are not one of those teams. The Pirates, like the Reds before them, came to Philadelphia as one of the worst teams in the league, but they also came with a target on their backs. The Phillies have to beat teams like this in order to maintain their playoff pace. Last night, they started the game quickly and coasted to a victory. Tonight, it was more of the same.

The first inning was kind once again to the Phillies as they broke out to a 3-0 lead in the opening salvo behind a hit by pitch to Rhys Hoskins, singles by Alec Bohm and Bryce Harper and topped off by a bases clearing double by the best catcher in baseball, J.T. Realmuto.

The second inning saw still more scoring when the team got a leadoff walk to Jean Segura, a one out walk to Kyle Schwarber and an RBI single by Hoskins to give them one run in the inning. Bohm would ground out to third baseman Ke’Bryan Hayes to score Schwarber, making the score 5-0.

In the third inning, Nick Castellanos continued his hot hitting by driving a ball the opposite way over 400 feet and over the right center field fence to make it 6-0.

As the offense was putting up runs on a struggling pitching staff from Pittsburgh, Kyle Gibson started and was very solid for the Phillies. He had a few jams that he needed to get out of, like in the second inning when he had men on first and second with two outs, but he simply picked off Greg Allen at first to end the inning. In the fifth, he allowed two singles to start the inning, but got a line drive hit by Tyler Heineman to go right Schwarber, then struck out Kevin Newman and Bryan Reynolds to end the threat. A leadoff double by Bligh Madris in the seventh looked promising for the Pirates, but Gibson wiggled out of that as well. He was just fantastic for them this evening.

The offense for Philadelphia didn’t do much the rest of the night, but it didn’t matter. The bullpen kept things clean the rest of the night and the team had yet another win this week, their sixth straight.

One thing that might go unnoticed in the final box score: Sam Coonrod, after the four pitch walk to Newman, looked pretty good again. Should he continue to regain his form he had last year, this team has yet another weapon in their bullpen to be deployed in a short series if need be.