By: Matthew Mack
The Philadelphia Phillies returned to Philly to face the Washington Nationals after a rough road trip. They also were looking to improve in June, after so many inconsistencies that have run amok on the field. From the lack of defense to the inconsistent play, they need a fresh start in a new month.
On Friday, Zack Wheeler and Max Scherzer locked horns for a pitcher’s duel. Both men went seven plus innings. Wheeler pitched 8 K’s to Scherzer’s nine. Juan Soto will get his no matter what as he homered in the 6th to make it 2-1. The game was down the wire in the bottom of the ninth when Rhys Hoskins slammed a double to become the tying run. Travis Jankowski was the pinch runner for Hoskins. Few pitches into the next at bat, Jankowski was caught in a run down between 2nd and 3rd.The baserunning error caused the out and deflated the Phils chances to win, losing the game.
Saturday afternoon, a breath of fresh air was in the atmosphere. Bryce Harper was activated from the injured list. At the same time, Hector Neris was placed on paternity leave. In the game, Andrew McCutchen slammed a three-run homer in the 4th to give the Phils the 4-1 lead. That was all the offense needed as the Phils went on to win the game 5-2. The real hero in this game was the Phils pitching staff. Six pitchers were used to secure the win including Connor Brogdon’s first Major League save.
Yesterday, while the Sixers were playing across the street, the Phillies bats continued to come alive. The Phillies were down 3-0 until the 4th inning when they exploded for seven runs. In the next inning, Brad Miller hit a two-run home run to extend the lead 9-3. Even though the Nats came back to tack on three runs in the 6th, the Phils answered right back with three runs of their own. In the middle of all of this, Andrew McCutchen scored his 1,000 run in his career and J.T. Realmuto hit his 100th home run of his career as well. The game took over four hours to play thanks to the netting behind home plate fell over, holding the game for 20 minutes. Phils won the game and the series 12-6.
They finally came away with a series win, since they beat the same Nationals team on May 11th-13th. The offense is starting to heat up. The bullpen has held their own. The concerns are the starting rotation. The Phillies main trouble is the fact that they have been lacking consistency in every area. Now that the offense is cooking and the bullpen is holding their end along with them making the routine plays, the starting rotation must step up as they face the Atlanta Braves at home for the next series. Winning this series is a must. In the situation that the Phils are in, they cannot afford to get into any more deeper holes.