The Phillies were in danger of being swept out of their own ballpark on Sunday afternoon, and the hope of breaking a 6 game-losing streak was on the line. The Phillies responded with a tidy 6-1 win.
It wasn’t without drama, of course. Kyle Schwarber was taken out of the leadoff spot and said “we told you so.” Bryson Stott was put back into a leadoff role that he had done very well. For Stott, I’m not so sure he should have been moved in the first place. He is the type of hitter that makes a pitcher work for every pitch. On Sunday that was the case again seeing up to 11 pitches an at-bat. Not only does this wear down a pitcher. It gives every player in that lineup a chance to see all the pitches and how that pitcher is approaching that game. Stott, a well-deserved return to the leadoff spot. He was 1-4, with a run scored Sunday.
Now the fun starts. H, how will Schwarber react to the move? Well, great would be a good word to describe it! He went 2-3 with 3 RBIs. He hit a bomb in the 6th inning that bounced in and out of the middle deck. It was a stereotypical Schwarbomb. But, to me a big piece of this game was actually in the 4th inning. He came up with an RBI single that put the Phillies up 2-0 at the time. It wasn’t a homer but a good piece of hitting through the right side. So, looking at this lineup, with Schwarber 5th, it may look old school but it works.
I have to say after the last week of subpar starting pitching, I was not expecting to see a gem from Taijuan Walker on Sunday, but he did just that, 6 ip only 3 hits and one run. How? You ask….Well getting ahead of hitters and being able to throw put-away pitches in good positive counts. Of his 6 strikeouts, 5 of the at-bats were either 0-2 or 1-2 counts, which gives a pitcher some wiggle room for deception, which Walker has with his splitter. His only mistake was a fastball to Tristan Casas, who homered to center.
All in all, the best game all around the Phillies have played…..And a little shout out to Matt Strahm, who finished the game and got himself a save. Just attacking hitters for him! Hopefully, this is the feel-good game the Phillies needed to turn things around.