By: Matthew Mack
The Phillies continue on their west coast trip to Los Angeles to face the Dodgers at Dodger Stadium for a four game weekend series.
In the first game on Thursday, the Phillies had control for much of the game. Zack Wheeler pitched 5⅓ with seven strikeouts on six hits, three runs, one walk. He was, for the most part, doing his job. On the offensive side, the Phillies gave all the run support it needed to keep pace in the game. Going into the eighth, the Dodgers started to make their move. The Phillies had the lead 7-3. With the bases loaded, Dodgers Will Smith singled to center to score a run. In the next at bat, Justin Turner hit a shot down the 3rd base line to score two on the play. Then, Chris Taylor in his at bat, knocked in one more to tie the game and wake up the Dodger faithful at home. The Phillies responded with the bases loaded. Dodgers pitcher Daniel Hudson threw a wild pitch, scoring Odubel Herrera. Later, Bryce Harper, who homered earlier in the game, hit a sacrifice fly to score in the run tio take the lead. Phils closer Corey Knebel pitched the ninth and sealed the deal for Philly 9-7.
Friday night was a seesaw, high scoring affair. The Dodgers had five runs cross the plate in the third inning to take the lead 5-2. Philadelphia, undeterred, tied the game with a Bryson Stott RBI and a Kyle Schwarber 2-run home run. Dodgers did retake the lead 6-5 with an Austin Barnes single to score Taylor. The Phillies answered back with Alec Bohm sacrifice fly to score a run and Harper hard double to retake the lead at 7-6. The seesaw affair continued on until the game was sent to extra innings thanks to Turner hitting a two-run home run to tie the game. In the tenth, Nick Castellanos generated the offense for the Phils with a 2-run RBI double. In the next at bat, Castellanos stole 3rd and ran home to score on a throwing error. The Dodgers scored one in the bottom half but the Phillies held for the win 12-10.
Saturday night, they got all their scoring done early thanks to mostly the long ball. Jean Segura, Schwarber, Harper, and Rhys Hoskins all homered. Ranger Suarez was stretched out for seven innings. Giving up five hits, three runs, six strikeouts, and one walk He did give up a home run to Mookie Betts in the first but nothing else too major after that. After all of that, the Phillies secure the win and clinch the series win 8-3.
Sunday afternoon, the Phillies would go for the sweep. They went out in front in the second when they scored four runs in the second inning. The Dodgers started to chip away the lead with a Betts home run in the third. In the next inning, Max Muncy scored Trea Turner on a single to right. Aaron Nola had a good outing in seven innings. He passed Hall-of-Famer Jim Bunning to move into 7th place on the all time strikeout list with 1,198. In this outing, he fanned eight on two runs. The Dodgers kept picking at the lead. Betts trimmed it to one with an RBI single to left. Knebel had the opportunity to save the game and complete the sweep. Gavin Lux had other plans as he hit a game-winning two-run RBI double 5-4.
The Phillies are in second and have been successful 5-2 road swing. The offense is running on all cylinders. The Phillies are second in all of MLB in hitting and RBIs, tied for fifth in home runs, third in runs, tied for second in doubles and hits, tied for third in stolen bases and lead all of baseball in slugging and OPS (on base plus slugging). Even though the pitching is getting their lives together, the Phillies beat the first place Dodgers on the road and go back home to play the San Diego Padres who find themselves around first place in the NL West. The Phillies look like a team that can do damage. Let’s hope that they maintain this throughout, they are right where they need to be.