The Philadelphia Phillies hosted the Atlanta Braves for the first of a three-game series and what is the most important series of the season.
Skipping all the way to the bottom of the third, Brandon Marsh took the first two heaters from Spencer Strider for strikes. After a foul ball, Marsh pulled a slider down the right-field line for a leadoff double.
The broadcast said he was 6 for his last 43 coming into that at-bat and Rob Thomson said center field would become more of a platoon.
After Schwarber pulled a changeup on the ground to move Marsh to third, it was up to Trea Turner and Nick Castellanos to bring him home.
Strider gave both of them two nasty two-strike sliders, Turner tapped it back to the mound and Castellanos struck out.
They threatened many times tonight but got into a similar situation again in the fifth.
After Marsh and Schwarber singled with one out, Turner hit a flyball to the track in right-center field which moved Marsh to third.
Castellanos poked a 97 mph fastball to right field with two outs to break the scoreless tie.
Strider worked out of it with another nasty slider to get Bryce Harper.
The Braves answered right back and of course, it had to be Austin Riley. Ranger Suárez threw a cutter up, and Riley sat on that to tie the game.
Suárez pitched brilliantly the entire night but the Braves worked counts with brought his pitch count up to 99 pitches after six innings of one-run ball.
People will say he missed that one pitch to Riley, that was more about Riley being a great hitter than Suárez making a bad pitch.
Things got interesting in the seventh, Jeff Hoffman came in to face the bottom of the Braves order. Orlando Arcia began the Braves party with a walk that had manager Brian Snitker get Eddie Rosario in for Kevin Pillar.
Rosario promptly took a hanging splitter down the right field line to put runners on second and third. After a Michael Harris groundout, Ronald Acuña Jr. poked a first-pitch fastball to center field to make it 2-1. Ozzie Albies would then ground out to make it 3-1.
There are some questions about whether Hoffman was the right guy or not for that spot but the decision looks a lot worse in hindsight.
It’s the righty Orlando Arcia, who has a 1.442 OPS against lefties (although it’s 39 at-bats), Eddie Rosario (which would’ve been Kevin Pillar had Gregory Soto come in), and Michael Harris.
Soto probably gets the nod over Hoffman since he’s the better reliever but I think there is plenty of context that is missing.
What makes this even harder was that José Alvarado was not available since he’s just coming off an elbow issue and threw back-to-back games in Oakland.
In the eighth (no way am I discussing the decision Schwarber made to bunt) Andrew Vasquez came in to face Matt Olson who hit a ball that hasn’t landed yet.
Raisel Iglesias came in for the bottom of the ninth for his tenth save of the year. After a Rosario drop, it took a flyout and ground out to bring home Stott and make it a 4-2 game.
Things got interesting when Brandon Marsh recorded his third hit of the night, taking a four-seam fastball right up the middle.
Schwarber struck out on a nasty changeup to drop their record to 38-35. Aaron Nola gets the ball tomorrow against AJ Smith-Shawver.