Phillies smash 5 home runs, win game one in Atlanta 7-1
Zack Wheeler dominated on the mound last night in Atlanta as the Phillies’ crushed five home runs to beat the Braves 7-1 in game one of three at Truist Park.
Last week, Zack Wheeler allowed six runs and three home runs in just five innings of work against the Atlanta Braves as the Phillies’ comeback fell short at Citizens Bank Park, losing 7-6 in extra innings.
It was one of Wheeler’s worst outings of the 2023 season and while the rest of the Phillies’ rotation hasn’t been consistent this year, it was of the upmost importance that their No. 1 starter bounced back last night in Atlanta.
Wheeler delivered in dominating fashion.
Over six strong innings, he allowed just three hits and one earned run, while walking two and striking out five Braves batters. The only run Wheeler allowed last night was on a solo home run from Ozzie Albies in the bottom of the first inning as the Braves jumped out to an early 1-0 lead.
From there, the Phillies smashed five home runs to destroy the Atlanta Braves at Truist Park, winning game one of three by a final score of 7-1. Johan Rojas got the Phillies on the board in the top of the second inning, hitting an opposite field 2-run home run.
Johan Rojas Go-Ahead 2-Run Home Run
Rojas has been consistent all season and the Phillies have almost certainly found their centerfielder.
Side Note: Yes that means Brandon Marsh in left field, Schwarber at DH, and Harper at first base. Don’t get me started on what that means for the beloved Rhys Hoskins. We’ll discuss this winter.
The 23-year old is batting .300 with two home runs and 21 RBI in 120 at-bats this season. Over his last 7 games, Rojas is batting .400 with eight hits, one home run, and 3 RBI in 20 at-bats.
Having that type of production at the bottom of your lineup is crucial and if Rojas can continue to provide that, the depth it will provide in the postseason makes the Phillies 1-9 an absolute nightmare for opposing pitchers.
The flood gates opened after the Rojas home run. In the top of the third inning, Bryce Harper extended the Phillies’ lead to 3-1 with his 18th home run of the season on a ball that just carried the fence in left center field.
Bryce Harper Home Run No. 18
Harper appeared to debut a new home run celly as he rounded second base, taking a pull of an imaginary…blunt? before passing it to the fellas in the dugout.
JT Realmuto followed Harper and Rojas in the very next inning, absolutely destroying a baseball into the upper deck in deep left field.
I’ve said it once and I’ll almost certainly say it again. JT Realmuto is the key to this Phillies lineup. If he can find some consistency at the plate over the final two weeks of the season and into the postseason, that would be a massive boost to this lineup.
On the year, the Best Catcher in Baseball (still true defensively) is batting just .284 with 19 home runs and 57 RBI.
JT Realmuto Home Run
Nick Castellanos, who continues to find success lower in the lineup destroyed a home run to left center field, marking his 25th on the season and 96th RBI of the season.
Castellanos bounce back year after a rough Phillies’ debut has been fun to watch and after struggling at the beginning of September, it looks like his “lows” are becoming a shorter timespan every time the rear their ugly heads.
Nick Castellanos HR No. 25
When there’s a home run party, you have to know that Kyle Schwarber would eventually join in. He did so in the top of the sixth inning, crushing a 2-run home run 483 FEET to right field.
Kyle Schwarber 483 FEET.
you know you got one when Ryan Howard reacts like this. 483 feet lmao. pic.twitter.com/RGaUDCZ45I— Absolutely Hammered (@AH_Pod) September 19, 2023
Just an INSANE home run from Kyle Schwarber. Check these stats out.
- 483 foot home run over Chop House at Truist Park.
- Second longest Phillies’ home run since Statcast started in 2015.
- The longest was Schwarber’s home run in the NLCS against San Diego.
- It was the third longest home run in the MLB this season and the second-longest ever at Truist Park.
Kyle Schwarber now has 45 home runs on the season and 99 RBI with a .824 OPS. He’s also batting just .197. Baseball historians will look back on this season and have no idea how this was even possible.
Phillies Hunt for Red October
With last night’s win, the Phillies hold a 3.5 game lead over the D-Backs for the top spot in the National League Wild Card. There are 12 games remaining in the 2023 regular season.
The Phillies magic number to clinch a postseason ticket is now at 9.
Games Remaining: at ATL (2), vs. NYM (4), vs. PIT (3), at NYM (3)
Cristopher Sanchez (2-4, 3.40 ERA) will take the mound tonight in Atlanta against Spencer Strider (17-5, 3.73 ERA).