The Phillies’ bats did their best work when they stayed on their shoulders tonight.
San Diego Padres’ starter, Pedro Avila, was erratic most of the night, issuing six walks to Phillies’ hitters. But there was no luck to be had on any balls in play, as the offense managed just three hits to go along with four double plays, three by Nick Castellanos in his first four pitches looked at.
The lineup scattered three singles throughout the night, all from the 6-7-8 hole hitters, Brandon Marsh, Jake Cave and Edmundo Sosa.
Michael Lorenzen kept the Padres’ lineup in check until the bottom of the fourth inning, when a leadoff solo shot by Fernando Tatis, Jr. seemed to signal the opening of the floodgates.
An absolute tank shot from Fernando Tatis pic.twitter.com/VJUbU8oFa5— Talkin’ Baseball (@TalkinBaseball_) September 6, 2023
After a groundout by Juan Soto, a single by Manny Machado followed by a double by Xander Bogaerts put runners on second and third. Padres’ catcher, Luis Campusano, hit a hard grounder to second and Bryson Stott made a rare errant throw home that sailed wide of a waiting Garrett Stubbs and scored both runners before Lorenzen got Campusano attempting to stretch to second.
In either an attempt to express confidence or else to preserve the bullpen to fight another day, Rob Thomson let Lorenzen load the bases with no outs in the bottom of the sixth inning, eventually allowing four runs to score on three walks, three hits and a fielder’s choice, all on Lorenzen’s ledger.
Dylan Covey came on in mop-up duty in the seventh and eighth innings and the Padres extended their lead with two singles and a sacrifice fly by Matt Carpenter in the bottom of the eighth.
The loss looms larger given the three wild card contenders immediately behind them (Cubs, Reds, Marlins) all won tonight, though the Phillies still maintain a one and a half game lead over the Cubs for the first wild card spot.
Zach Wheeler goes up against Michael Wacha in the rubber match tomorrow afternoon.