July did not go well for Nick Castellanos. He was arguably the worst player in baseball during the month, and looked every bit as bad as he did for most of 2022. To a lesser extent, July was also unkind to Seranthony Dominguez. He spent most of the month on the injured list and had been shaky since his return.
But on Tuesday night, Castellanos delivered a clutch, game-winning home run, and Dominguez earned a save with a dominant ninth inning, leading the Phillies to a 3-1 win over the Marlins.
The Phillies’ first inning was about as “Phillies first inning” as a first inning can get. Facing nemesis Sandy Alcantara, Kyle Schwarber and Alec Bohm opened the frame with consecutive hits...only to see Bryce Harper ground into a double play, effectively ending the scoring threat.
They proceeded to do very little over the following seven innings. From the second to the eighth, they had one walk and two hits - one of which was promptly erased by another double play.
Sandy Alcántara was dealing tonight!— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) August 2, 2023
8 IP | 0 R | 4 H | 1 BB | 5 K pic.twitter.com/DtrRzHRTg9
Thankfully, the Marlins were out-Philleing the Phillies with the way they wasted scoring opportunities. They loaded the bases against Ranger Suarez in the first but left all three men on base. They did score a run in the third inning but stranded two more to limit the damage.
It definitely wasn’t the cleanest outing Suarez has ever pitched, but thanks in part to two double plays behind him - as well as a runner being gunned down at the plate - he only allowed that one run in 6.1 innings.
Yunior Marte relieved Suarez in the seventh, and walked two batters to load the bases, but the Marlins once again squandered the scoring chance with an infield popup and a fly out.
Alcantara’s night was done after eight innings, and the Marlins tried to close it out with their recent trade acquisition, our old friend David Robertson. There were rumors that the Phillies might have been interested in trading for Handsome Dave, and after this game, I’m pretty sure most Phillies fans are glad they didn’t.
Robertson opened the frame by walking Kyle Schwarber. After a long battle to strike out Alec Bohm, Robertson faced Bryce Harper who was eager to redeem himself for his earlier double play.
Bryce Harper rips a double off the left-field wall. Jake Cave scores. Game tied. pic.twitter.com/4xnTtWHSig— Todd Zolecki (@ToddZolecki) August 2, 2023
Next up was Nick Castellanos. If this game was in July, the at bat would have assuredly ended in a strikeout. And sure enough, he quickly fell behind 0-2. But for some reason, instead of throwing a down-and-away breaking pitch that resulted in about 50 strikeouts over the past month, Robertson left one over the plate.
With Craig Kimbrel unavailable, the Phillies turned to Seranthony Dominguez to finish things off. In his last appearance, Dominguez faced five batters, and retired just one of them, giving up a two-run home run along the way. Perhaps he just needed to work off some rust after his stint on the injured list, because Dominguez’s stuff looked good. He made quick work of the top of the Marlins’ lineup to preserve the win.
The Phillies will look to win their third straight over the Marlins on Wednesday. They’ll be facing a left-handed starter in Braxton Garrett, so this will be a great opportunity for Castellanos to show that he did indeed leave his struggled behind in July.