Only one day after an utterly humiliating 13-0 loss to the Cincinnati Reds, the Phillies absolutely strafed that same Reds team 14-3 to take home a series split. It was the exact opposite of all that went wrong on Saturday, as the Phils got excellent production from every spot in the lineup, and a solid pitching performance from Aaron Nola and the rest of the pen. The rollercoaster 2023 season marches on, as the Phillies are now 6-10.
The Phillies’ blitzkrieg started off with a bang when Bryson Stott extended his season-opening hit streak to a franchise record 16 games with a solo shot to right field to lead off the ballgame. Trea Turner followed that up with a single, and back-to-back walks to Kyle Schwarber and Nick Castellanos loaded the bases with no one out. Brandon Marsh laced a single to right to move everyone up 90 feet, and the Phils took a 2-0 lead. J.T. Realmuto popped out harmlessly, but Alec Bohm set the merry-go-round in motion again with another single, making it 3-0 good guys.
Jake Cave then blew things open with a line drive double into the left-center field gap, and the Phillies were up 6-0 in the first inning. They didn’t stop there though, as Josh Harrison beat the shift with a grounder through the right side to tack another one on. After Stott grounded out in his second plate appearance of the inning, Turner singled through the hole at short to drive in Harrison. Schwarber ripped a double down the right field line that stayed just fair to drive in Turner, and the Phillies had an insurmountable 9-0 lead before the Reds even stepped to the plate.
Although the first inning was the biggest blow, the Phils added on throughout the contest. Trea Turner scored his third run of the game on a Nick Castellanos single in the third inning. Cave collected his fourth RBI in the top of the fourth with a single to right. Brandon Marsh scored on a misplay from Reds right fielder Stuart Fairchild in the fifth. The struggling J.T. Realmuto smacked his second homer of the year, a solo shot in the seventh to make it 13-3 Phils. And finally, Bryson Stott notched an RBI single off of Reds first baseman Jason Vosler to cement the final score at 14-3.
As for how the Reds got their three runs, Jake Fraley smoked a grounder to Alec Bohm at first that slipped just under Bohm’s glove to score a run. It may have been a tough play, but it was understandably ruled an error. Kevin Newman drove in Spencer Steer with a sacrifice fly in the fourth, and Jonathan India hit a sacrifice fly of his own to score Nick Senzel.
Overall it was a much needed bounce back game from Nola, who had struggled mightily over his first three starts. Nola came into Sunday’s game having given up 12 earned runs and 20 hits in only 15.1 innings of work. After Sunday’s 6.0 inning, two earned run outing he now has his season-long ERA down to a 5.91 mark. He wasn’t extraordinarily sharp, surrendering five hits and three walks, but he pitched deep enough into the game to give the Phillies’ overtaxed bullpen a breather.
Over the first 16 games of the 2023 season the Phillies have had us on an absolute rollercoaster. They crushed the Marlins and won the season series against the Reds, but they also were swept by the Rangers and got smoked by the Yankees. Injuries, ineffectiveness and sloppy play have all taken their toll, but it’s well worth remembering that this team has the talent to go on another deep October run. Now let’s all hope that this can mark the moment when they turned the page.
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