There are many baseball podcasts in the world. There’s our very own Hittin’ Season, as well as several others on the Hittin’ Season Patreon that are available for your ears. One of my favorites is the gentlemen from Cespedes Family Bar-B-Q. Their takes on baseball sometimes venture into the absurd, but one of the things I’ve come to love is their terminology for when a team wins all four games of a four game series. You, the old timer, might call that a sweep. They have coined the term “mop” since it’s more than just a sweep. Sweeping implies just a general cleaning of what is in front of you; mopping that floor is getting every remnant out.
None of the four games felt all that much in doubt. Sure Friday went extra innings, but that one felt like the Phillies were bound to win it. Each game that followed just felt like a matter of time before the Phillies came out on top. Today, even with the game pushed way, way back to avoid the rain, the Mets never looked interested in playing. They looked as though they were already planning on golfing on Monday.
And Cristopher Sanchez? Boy, that number four playoff starter debate heated up a little more.
The first three innings of this one flew by, action almost non-existent. The Phillies grabbed a few baserunners, but Mets starter Jose Butto had them befuddled. Sanchez one-upped him, retiring the first twelve men he faced before the Phillies offense got rolling. Brycer Harper singled to open the fourth, went to third when Bryson Stott singled to right, then watched as Stott stole his 30th base of the season. J.T. Realmuto stepped up and singled them both in, putting the Phillies up 2-0. Up stepped the suddenly scorching hot Nick Castellanos and, well, the team was befuddled no longer.
HOME RUN 2️⃣9️⃣ OF THE SEASON FOR CASTELLANOS pic.twitter.com/0msJQoFRxT— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) September 24, 2023
In the fifth, Sanchez allowed his first baserunner when Francisco Lindor walked to open the frame, but he was erased when he got into a rundown trying to kick start the offense. D.J Stewart would single to get the team’s first hit, but Sanchez was bearing down on them, not allowing them to do anything with it. In the bottom of the inning, a double by Trea Turner and a single by Harper gave the Phillies their fifth run and made the game seem out of reach.
Sanchez kept that rolling. In the sixth, he allowed a single to Tim Locastro and a two out laser beam from Ronny Mauricio, but that was it. He would pitch into the seventh inning, dominating the Mets with ten strikeouts, one walk, three hits and those two runs that came on the Mauricio home run. Going to the eighth, the Phillies decided this would be the time to unleash Orion Kerkering on the world and, hoo boy.
What a moment for Orion Kerkering. pic.twitter.com/OoT5nsb9GV— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) September 25, 2023
I’m just not sure what else to say about it. What a debut.
What was even more amazing was the inning Michael Lorenzen had in the ninth. It was a save situation and he was facing the Mets’ top of the order. He got through relatively unscathed, looking mighty impressive considering his bullpen debut the other night. These are two weapons in the playoffs maybe?
The team is off tomorrow and sits with their magic number at one.
Tuesday should be fun.