The Phillies (24-17) won their fourth consecutive series, matched their season high at seven games over .500, and moved to an essential tie for the division lead in Wednesday’s 4-2 victory against the Miami Marlins (21-19) at Citizens Bank Park.
Just like they did against the exact same team earlier this month, the Phillies were able to bounce back after dropping the first game of the series and stole the next two.
Each win was eerily similar–strong pitching performances paved the way. Vince Velasquez struck out 10 in five shutout innings on Tuesday, and the bullpen added seven more K’s while giving up only a single run to secure a 3-1 win. The 17 combined strikeouts matched a franchise record for a nine-inning game.
Jeremy Hellickson got the start in this afternoon’s rubber match and continued the trend of strong starting pitching, picking up his fourth win while giving up two runs in six innings of work. The exact same bullpen combo as Tuesday’s final three innings saw David Hernandez, Hector Neris, and Jeanmar Gomez dominate the end of the game. Gomez picked up the save in both wins to increase his MLB leading total to 16.
The pitching performances weren’t the only similarities between each game though, as each contest also saw a youngster hit their first career home run. On Tuesday it was recent call-up Tommy Joseph, who homered in just his third game in the big leagues after hitting six in 95 at-bats for AAA Lehigh Valley. Joseph sat on Wednesday, but is off to a hot 4 for 10 start and should add some much needed pop to the lineup.
This afternoon’s game saw Tyler Goeddel continue his recent hot streak with a three hit game and his first MLB home run. His batting average is now up to a season high .262.
After falling in the early 2-0 hole today, Andres Blanco plated an RBI single and Cameron Rupp followed with a bases loaded, two run single to give the Phillies the lead for good.
As hard as it is to believe, our Phillies are currently only percentage points behind the Nationals for the division lead after 41 games, pending Washington’s result in their matchup with the Mets this evening. The fate’s of all five of our major teams (I see you, Philadelphia Union!) seem to finally be looking up.
The Phillies are off on Thursday before MLB’s worst team, the Atlanta Braves, come to town for a three-game weekend series. The set should provide a great chance to keep the pressure on the Mets and Nationals. Or maybe even take the outright lead? Stay tuned! Friday’s game will feature the Phillies’ Aaron Nola (3-2, 2.89 ERA) against Atlanta’s Matt Wiser (1-3, 3.14 ERA). First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m.