The Phillies have been rather bad over the past several seasons when it comes to doubleheaders.
BTW, with the double header tomorrow...— schmenkman (@tgpschmenk) April 17, 2023
The #Phillies since 2018:
.364 W% (16-28) in 22 DH's
.512 W% in all other games
In 2022 they were 5-3 in double headers, and it was the first season that they won more than they lost in DH's since 2009(!)@TheGoodPhight https://t.co/ZqysG02Rjp
Basically, unless they played the Nationals, they were lucky to split the two games, and sweeps in their favor were almost unheard of. But as they say (I’m sure somebody has said it), you can’t sweep a doubleheader if you don’t win the first game, and that’s what the Phillies did on Tuesday afternoon, taking down the White Sox by a score of 7-4.
For the second straight game, the Phillies got runners on base in the first inning, and then actually got a few of them home. Bryson “Puddin’ Head” Stott wasted no time in extending his hitting streak, and after a Kyle Schwarber walk, Nick Castellanos broke the scoreless tie with an RBI single. A strikeout by J.T. Realmuto put the Phillies in danger of wasting a chance for a big inning, but Alec Bohm came through, giving him an impressive 11-game hitting streak of his own.
Josh Harrison’s Phillies career hasn’t gotten off to a great start, as the utility man had an OPS of just .519 entering the day. But with the bases loaded and two outs in the third, he came through with a single that gave the Phillies a 5-0 lead.
In the past, giving Zack Wheeler a five-run lead would have been game over. And to be fair, it was, but Wheeler made things a lot less comfortable in the bottom of the third when he allowed six straight hits to start the inning, cutting the lead to 5-4. Wheeler was able to limit the damage, but the big inning meant that he was removed from the game after five.
Clinging to a one-run lead, things seemed a little hairy for a few innings, and then things seemed a little “Hairy-son” as Harrison gave the team some much needed breathing room.
Breathing room!!!— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) April 18, 2023
Josh Harrison hits his first homerun in a Phillies uniform to extend the lead. pic.twitter.com/5iJjSZzO3Q
Thanks to a sterling effort by the bullpen quartet of Gregory Soto, Craig Kimbrel, Seranthony Dominguez, and Jose Alvarado (Zero baserunners, eight strikeouts in a combined four innings), the White Sox never threatened again.
Based on recent history, we shouldn’t expect much from the Phillies in game two. But if the Phillies can continue this recent trend of unexpected heroes emerging, taking advantage of early scoring opportunities, and strong relief pitching, then perhaps anything - including a doubleheader sweep - is possible.