The Phillies won a nailbiter Saturday afternoon, barely eking out a 1-0 victory over the Cardinals in St. Louis. Right-hander Kyle Gibson gave up four straight homers in the first inning when he faced the Cardinals last Saturday at home, but made up for it with a brilliant outing this weekend. Similarly, Alec Bohm has made up for his season-long struggles with a second straight night of producing the only Phillies’ offense.
Gibson was masterful on Saturday, tossing 7.0 two hit innings, striking out five and walking none. It’s a much needed rebound for the 34-year-old, as his season ERA dropped from 4.91 to 4.53.
The suddenly elite Phillies bullpen kept the magic going, as José Alvarado worked around two walks in a scoreless eighth inning, and embattled former closer Corey Knebel earned his twelfth save of the year.
The Phils’ offense struggled to get things going for a second straight day, but Alec Bohm came up clutch once again. His sacrifice fly in the top of the ninth proved to be the difference, just like his pair of homers lifted the Phillies last night. The lineup as a whole collected only five hits and four walks against strong Cardinals pitching. Standout rookie Darick Hall had the best day at the plate, notching a single and a double to go with a walk.
This was a crucial win for the Phillies as it gives them a 2.0 game lead over the Redbirds for the final wildcard spot, as well as bringing them to only 7.0 back of the Mets for first place in the NL East. Perhaps most importantly, today’s victory secured the series win for the Phils, as they’re 4-1 against St. Louis with only two contests left between the two. If the Phillies and Cardinals end up tied for the last playoff spot at season’s end, this would give the Phils a wildcard berth due to MLB’s new playoff format.