The Phillies magic keeps on rolling, as the team won their ninth straight game on Saturday. It was another uneven contest, as the Phils took an early 3-0 lead, and didn’t give the Diamondbacks any hope en route to an easy 4-0 victory.
Zack Wheeler led the way with six outstanding innings, surrendering only two hits and no walks while punching out eight. He did throw more pitches than usual, as it took him 98 to get through six scoreless frames. Despite the brevity of his outing, Wheeler’s Cy Young-caliber stuff was on full display.
Much like Friday night, the Phil’s jumped out to an early lead, and only tacked on one insurance run in the late innings. Nick Castellanos fired the opening salvo, lacing a two-out single into left field to score Rhys Hoskins. The red-hot Bryson Stott tripled the lead in the next inning, hitting a two-run dinger into the right field bleachers off of Madison Bumgarner. Things went silent after that until the eighth inning, when Castellanos notched his second RBI on an opposite field double off of southpaw Caleb Smith.
The Phillies didn’t need a ton of offense in this one, as both the starting and relief pitching was dominant all afternoon. The only hiccup came from Jeurys Familia, who loaded the bases in the seventh on two hits and a walk, but Andrew Bellatti came in with two outs and slammed the door on the potential rally. Brad Hand got back on track with a clean eighth, while young lefty Cristopher Sánchez finished things off by working around two hits in a scoreless ninth.
This ninth straight win marks the latest step in an incredible run for the Phillies. The team began this streak at a miserable 21-29 mark, but now is above .500 at 30-29. They still sit 8.5 games back of the Mets as of this writing, but have moved to only 2.5 games out of the final wildcard spot. There’s still over 100 games to be played, but if this run shows anything, it’s that the Phillies still have plenty of life left in them.