Cristopher Sánchez made his 2023 debut in the majors this afternoon and started off with a feat that feels rare as of late for the Phillies - a clean first inning. It was a good sign of how the afternoon would play out.
The scoring started in the second inning when Nick Castellanos ended his home run drought as he got a piece of a slider from Kyle Freeman and sent it over the left field wall, landing 378 feet from home plate. In the dugout, he and Bryce Harper embraced as the team celebrated. Castellanos leads the league in doubles, but until today struggled to go yard.
The Rockies wasted no time tying up the score. Alan Trejo started off the action in top of the third with a single. Then Charlie Blackmon drew a walk. A wild pitch from Sánchez advanced the runners. Jurickson Profar poked a ball to Turner who made the play at first but it allowed Trejo to cross home plate.
The score wouldn’t remain tied for long. In the bottom of the third, Marsh drew a walk. Pache came to the plate and at first showed bunt, but on the third pitch he saw, an 88.8 MPH sinker, he followed the lead of Nick Castellanos and went long over the centerfield fence to take the lead 3-1.
The Rockies were far from out of the game, and in the top of the fourth scored another run when Yonathon Daza hit a ball off the centerfield wall that was just out of Marsh’s reach, allowing a runner to tag and score. They would repeat it in the top of the fifth, when Mike Moustakas sent a high flyball to Castellanos which allowed Blackmon to tag up and score from third, tying the game at 3-3.
Action during the the bottom of the fifth gave hope that the Phillies would once more take the lead. Marsh reached first on an error by Trejo. Pache hit a blooper to shallow right field to put runners at first and second. Trea Turner got an infield hit but Marsh was forced out at third. Bohm hit into a groundout to end the inning without the Phillies being able to push any runners across the plate, and the game remained tied.
That would change in the bottom of the sixth when Nick Castellanos put an exclamation mark on the fact that he could still hit the long ball by sending yet another one into the stands in left field. The scoreboard read 4-3, Phillies lead, and that’s how it would remain for the rest of the afternoon.
Casty go boom x2#RingTheBell pic.twitter.com/NbHB1kYIk9— Philadelphia Phillies (@Phillies) April 22, 2023
Christopher Sánchez pitched 4.1 innings and scattered five hits and three earned runs while striking out five. Connor Brogdon gave up one hit and struck out two over 1.2 innings. Seranthony Dominguez still looked like he was searching for the Seranthony of late last year, giving up two hits and making everyone a little nervous. In the end, he managed to get out of the eighth inning without giving up a run. Craig Kimbrel took the mound in the ninth, and after pausing to allow everyone to take one last drink, proceeded to record his 396th career save, and he used an efficient eight pitches to do it. Phillies’ pitching was good at every level.
Trea Turner, Kyle Schwarber, and J.T. Realmuto went hitless against the Rockies’ pitching. Luckily, Castellanos continues to play with consistency and has now found some of the power that has made him so dangerous over the years. After today, he now leads the league in doubles with ten.
Bryson Stott had the day off but is expected to return tomorrow.
The Phillies wrap up the series against the Rockies tomorrow afternoon at 12:05 PM. Zack Wheeler is scheduled to face off against José Ureña. José Ureña comes into tomorrow’s game with a 9.82 ERA over 14.2 innings pitched. Let’s hope that the Phillies can take advantage of his struggles as they battle their way to .500 for the first time this season. Wheeler has grappled with his own issues this year, but his last two outings have been better than his first two, so it appears he’s headed in the right direction.