Red October is back. The Philadelphia Phillies returned to the Postseason with a bang on Tuesday night at Citizen’s Bank Park to begin the NL Wildcard Series.
The hype train left the station early as Rhys Hoskins returned to CBP by throwing out the first pitch. There’s a chance he could play in the World Series, if the Phillies make it there.
Zack Wheeler took the ball for the Fightins as they looked to extinguish a relatively hot Marlins team. Opposing Wheels, was southpaw Jesus Luzardo coming off a career high in innings pitched and making his first career Postseason start.
Wheeler made quick work of the Marlins to begin the proceedings, retiring the side in order.
The Phils on the other hand, wasted no time jumping on Luzardo. A Kyle Schwarber single, followed by a Trea Turner double, put runners on second and third with no outs. Unfortunately, that’s as far as Schwarber and Turner would get. At the very least, the Phils made the 26-year-old work and tire in the first.
The scoring was not cracked open until the bottom of the third inning, thanks to Johan Rojas. The rook singled and then took second on a ball in the dirt. Alec Bohm then stepped up in the clutch, lacing a double to score Rojas and putting the Phillies on the board.
The Phils continued their steady attack of Miami, adding two more in the bottom half of the fourth frame. Bryson Stott and Cristian Pache each drove home a run, pulling the Phillies ahead by three.
The Marlins could not manage to muster much of anything against Wheeler, as they remained scoreless through six. A stressful seventh inning and a run, led to the end of Wheeler’s spectacular showing.
6.2 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 8 K - 100 pitches
Jose Alvarado took over for the former Met with runners on first and second and two outs. Let’s just say Alvarado did his thing. Strike one, strike two, and good luck, Yuli Gurriel.
Alvy would work his way through two outs in the top half of the eighth before allowing a weak-single to Luis Arraez. Rob Thomson opted to continue to play matchups, making the move to the reliable Jeff Hoffman. The East Carolina product continued his incredibly successful season, easily retiring Jorge Soler to conclude the top of the eighth.
The ballpark continued to bump in the bottom half of the inning as the Phils’ offense searched for some insurance runs. They quickly found one. Nick Castellanos doubled home Bryce Harper from first tallying the Phillies fourth run in the process.
The only acceptable time to run a stop sign pic.twitter.com/lrjQFg50gZ— Philadelphia Phillies (@Phillies) October 4, 2023
Onto the ninth we go. Craig Kimbrel was the next man out of the Phillies arm barn as he looked to slam the door in the ninth.
Well, it would not be a Kimbrel save without some drama. The veteran righty allowed a leadoff double to Josh Bell, but was able to settle in and get the job done.
Phillies win it 4-1! Game Two is set for Wednesday night with another 8:08pm first pitch on ESPN.
MIA: Braxton Garrett (9-7, 159.2 IP, 154 H, 3.66 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 29 BB, 156 K, .250 BAA)
PHI: Aaron Nola (12-9, 193.2 IP, 178 H, 4.46 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 45 BB, 202 K, .240 BAA)
See you all tomorrow night.