After a truly pathetic loss in Saturday’s afternoon game, the Phillies came roaring back in the nightcap, pummeling the Nationals 8-2. The Phils’ offense was firing on all cylinders, as they bashed five homers, and Noah Syndergaard was equally impressive on the mound. With the Phillies’ win on Saturday night and the Brewers loss, the Phils’ magic number now sits at only three heading into Sunday.
Saturday night started out with a bang, as Kyle Schwarber launched a leadoff home run off of rookie starter Tommy Romero to open things up. Matt Vierling tripled in the second inning to make it 2-0 before the floodgates really opened up in the third. Alec Bohm lifted a two-run shot into the left field bleachers to make it 4-0 Phillies, and Brandon Marsh went back-to-back with him to make it a five run game. Vierling put the cherry on top with a two-run blast of his own and it was 7-0 Phils through three. The offense settled down after that, with the only other run coming in the form of another solo shot from Schwarber in the fourth, but that would be more than enough. Trade deadline acquisition Noah Syndergaard was masterful, tossing 5.2 shutout innings, while allowing only two hits and two walks. Connor Brogdon worked out of Thor’s sixth inning jam, and swingman Cristopher Sánchez allowed two runs in the final three innings.
It was a much needed win for a Phillies team that has been flatlining in recent weeks, taking a once stable wildcard lead and turning it into the thinnest of margins. The Phillies entered Saturday with a magic number of five, but after tonight’s victory and the Brewers’ brutal loss to the Marlins, that number now sits at three. Zack Wheeler will take the mound against Patrick Corbin in tomorrow’s series finale, before the Phillies finish out the regular season with a three-game set in Houston.