By: Matthew Mack
The Philadelphia Phillies welcomed the San Francisco Giants for a three game series at Citizens Bank Park.
On Monday, Nick Castellanos continued his onslaught as he homered in the second inning to give the Phillies an early 1-0 lead. Then, Rhys Hoskins, in the fourth inning, homered off Giants starter Logan Webb. In the sixth, Wilmer Flores of the Giants tied the game up with a two-run home run off of Kyle Gibson. The ninth inning, the Phillies sent out closer Corey Knebel to keep the game tied for the Phillies. He failed. Evan Longoria slammed a solo bomb to take the lead. Undeterred, in the bottom half, Kyle Schwarber slammed his 11th homer of the season to tied it in the ninth and send it to extra innings. In the extra frame, Giants Curt Casali busted a two-run home run to take the lead. The Phils could only muster one run in the bottom half, falling short in the game with the final 5-4.
The next night, the Phillies struck first blood in the fourth on a play that was originally called slide interference by the second base umpire Junior Valentine due to Hoskins sliding into second, causing the double play. The run scored no matter what but Philly challenged the slide interference call at second which was overturned. The next inning, Luis González knocked in two runs to take the lead along with a Mike Yastrzemski with a sacrifice fly, 3-1. Sixth inning, J.T. Realmuto knocked in a run to trim the lead to one. Odubel Herrera drove in a run with a double play to second later in the inning to tie the game. The game got long in time because the game went into extra innings again. Giants Joc Pederson took the lead with a single in the 10th. Alec Bohm responded with a RBI in the bottom half to tie it. The Giants blew the game wide open with not just an RBI by Donovan Walton but with a Pederson three run homer, 7-4. The Phillies had the bases loaded when Roman Quinn, who pinch ran for Castellanos in the 10th, struck out to end the game and extend the losing streak at five.
Wednesday night, the Phillies hoped that things would turn around with Aaron Nola on the mound. In the first five innings, he gave up only one hit and nothing more. Hoskins and Nick Maton, with his safety squeeze, provided the RBIs necessary to take the lead while Nola was dominating. In the sixth, things went nuts. The Giants came back to life as Nola gave up five runs. Included was a three-run homer by Wilmer Flores. In the bottom half of the inning, Schwarber and Maton both smashed two-run home runs and finally got the win, avoiding the sweep and ending the five game losing streak.
The Phillies are not in panic mode but the cause for concern cannot be overstated. Losing streaks are not fun at all. The Phillies are a lifeless team and are in need of some energy somewhere. A jolt. Something! As they get a day off on Thursday, they will get ready for Mike Trout, Shohei Otani and the Los Angeles Angels for the weekend series. To be fair, Joe Girardi or any manager can push the buttons to plug in the right people on the field, in the lineup, and in the bullpen, but it takes execution. The Phillies need something, anything to wake up from their slumber. They are seven games below .500 and are in need to get going now if they want to make any noise. From where this writer is seeing things, they are playing like a mediocre ball club and the are not going anywhere unless something crazy happens.