Phillies head home after 5-4 road trip with the season on the line, lose finale to the Brewers 4-3
The Philadelphia Phillies are finally coming home. In what seemed like a terrible road trip that would never end, the Fightins will finally be back in South Philadelphia tonight to open a three game series against the Colorado Rockies. Yesterday, they wrapped up a three game set with the NL Central leaders in the Milwaukee Brewers, losing the finale 4-3.
The Phillies swept the Nationals to kick off the road trip. They then took 2-of-3 from the Miami Marlins. They beat the crap out of the Brewers in game one, got the crap beaten out of them in game two, and lost a close one yesterday in game three. They concluded the road trip 5-4 and during that time, gained two games on the Atlanta Braves. They will now play 14-of-17 games at home.
Atlanta lost last night as well, so the Phillies still remain 2.5 games back of the NL East leading Braves. The Braves have been playing terrible baseball after a hot month of August. They are 4-6 over their last 10 games and have lost 9-of-14 overall. The Phillies will now face the Rockies and Cubs at home, make a quick trip to NYC to play the Mets, and then return home to play the Orioles and Pirates. The time to go on a run is now. They are 39-28 at home and are clearly better than any of their opponents over this next stretch before hitting the road to play the Braves and Marlins to wrap up the 2021 regular season.
First things first, the Phillies need to perform better at the plate. Yesterday was another rough game for the offense, as they only mustered five hits while striking out 10 times. Bryce Harper really provided the only boost on offense, with a solo home run in the top of the first inning to give the Phillies a 1-0 lead. In the third inning, Harper would walk home another run for his second RBI on the day and JT Realmuto grounded into a force out to score Kyle Gibson.
Kyle Gibson didn’t have his best stuff yesterday and labored through 4.2 innings, allowing seven hits, three earned runs, and four walks while striking out five. The game was tied when Girardi went to his bullpen and Connor Brogdon let up the go ahead run thanks to a solo shot from Eduardo Escobar.
The Phillies need more from their starting pitching and bullpen over the final 23 games. Aaron Nola has struggled, Gibson hasn’t been as sharp as he was in August, and Ranger Suarez is battling sore triceps. Suarez will get the start tonight and the Phillies will throw a bullpen game tomorrow night.
In the end, it the road trip felt much worse that it actually was. The Phillies escaped with a winning record, they left a few games on the table and squandered a few opportunities to gain even more ground than the two games they did get from the Braves. It would be nice to go on another win streak this home stand before hitting the road for the final six games of the season against the Braves and Marlins. If you’ve been watching the Phillies, I shouldn’t have to explain why.
Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY SPORTS