Coming off of an exciting trade deadline for Phillies fans, Wednesday served as a chance to begin the push for the postseason.
With Zack Wheeler set to take the mound, expectations of a pitchers’ dual were quickly met. Charlie Morton took the bump for the Braves and shined from the start.
It should be noted that the Phillies lineup is still not at full strength. Without Bryce Harper and Jean Segura, the team has managed to stay afloat. With Odubel Herrera DFA’d and Brandon Marsh just arriving, Matt Vierling drew the start in central.
The first four innings were relatively uneventful as both starters looked strong.
The bottom of the fifth brought the first, and only, run home allowed by Wheels. Orlando Arica blasted his seventh long ball of the year to put Atlanta on top.
Arcia hits a 442 foot tape measure shot to left center! Braves lead 1-0 pic.twitter.com/X9VYzh5Mxg— Atlanta Braves Radio Network (@BravesRadioNet) August 3, 2022
The sixth and seventh were each uneventful as neither team’s offense could get going.
Morton finished his day after six-plus innings of scoreless work, lowering his season ERA to 4.09.
The final line for the 38-year-old : 6.2 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 8 K
Zack Wheeler was not too far behind the vet, as he dealt: 7 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 7K. Fortunately for Wheels, the offense picked it up just in time for him to get credited with the win.
The top of the eighth inning began with a Kyle Schwarber strikeout, as the slugger’s season average has now dipped to .202. Rhys Hoskins then drew a walk which prompted a pitching change for the Braves.
Colin McHugh was next up for Brian Snitker’s squad and he did not fare so well. Alec Bohm greeted him with a base hit, pushing Hoskins to third with one down. J.T. Realmuto then chopped a fielder’s choice to third allowing Rhys to come home and tie the game.
With things knotted up at one apiece, up stepped Nick Castellanos with Realmuto off of first. In what seems like the first big moment of Castellanos’s season, he crushed a two-run home run to dead centerfield.
This gave Philadelphia the lead, now three-to-one, heading into the last inning and a half. Armed with the two-run lead, Rob Thomson deployed reliable-righty Seranthony Dominguez for the bottom half of the eighth.
Dominguez was not his sharpest as he allowed a one-out double to the newest Brave, Robbie Grossman. Seranthony then issued a walked to Ronald Acuña Jr. to put runners on first and second with one down.
The 27-year-old quickly bounced back by striking out Dansby Swanson for a massive second out. Jose Alvarado entered next to face left-handed hitter Matt Olson, as Rob Thomson opted to play matchups.
It could not have worked out better as Olson popped up to Didi Gregorius at short, on the first pitch he saw, to end the inning.
Fast forwarding to the ninth inning where new closer David Robertson made his Phillies return. Robertson looked sharp, retiring the side in order with a pair of punch-outs. The final score, Phillies three, Braves one.
Robertson apparently recorded the save while still sporting the cleats of his former team.
David Robertson pitching in Cubs cleats because the Phillies didn’t have his ready saves his first game ever as a Phil pic.twitter.com/aHBOOgEUiX— Crossing Broad (@CrossingBroad) August 3, 2022
The save marked the fifteenth of the year for the former Yankee. This was also the first save Robertson recorded as a Phillie, over three years after signing as a free agent in the 2019 offseason.
The win pushes the Phils to 56-48 as they continue to stay just ahead of St. Louis in the wild card race.
Next up is the debut of Noah Syndergaard, in a Phillies uniform, as the former Met is slated to start on Thursday night at CBP. He will get to face off against a now lifeless Washington team, who will be feeling the effects of the Juan Soto mega-trade.
Thursday’s first pitch is set for 7:05pm with Paolo Espino set to oppose Thor.