The Phillies continued their stellar play in the latter half of April by shutting out the Mariners 1-0 on Thursday afternoon. Not only was it a solid performance from the entire pitching staff, but the victory finally got the Phils to a .500 record for the first time this year.
Matt Strahm continued his season-opening excellence, tossing 5.1 scoreless innings, surrendering only two hits and no walks, while punching out five. Many thought he was pulled too early, having thrown only 60 pitches to that point, but Manager Rob Thomson pushed all the right buttons as each pitcher kept the M’s off the board.
Seranthony Domínguez continued to look improved with two quick outs to finish off the sixth, while Connor Brogdon gave up a base hit while recording two outs in the seventh. Gregory Soto worked around two walks while hurling 1.1 frames of his own, and Craig Kimbrel continued his march to 400 saves in style by fanning two in a one-two-three top of the ninth.
There wasn’t much offense in this one, with the only run coming in the bottom of the second. Nick Castellanos continued his torrid start to the season with a single to left to lead off the frame. After Brandon Marsh flew out and Alec Bohm struck out, Kody Clemens came to the dish with two outs and Castellanos still on first. With the count 0-1, Castellanos took off for second. Mariners starter George Kirby, who had a fantastic outing, left a fastball in the middle of the plate and Clemens hammered it into right-center field. The headstart allowed Castellanos to steam around third and ultimately score while the ball was cut off at second base.
That one manufactured run was all the Phillies would need on a day where their pitching was absolutely lights out. After taking three of four from the Rockies and Wednesday’s miraculous come-from-behind win, the Phillies look to be headed in the right direction with their record finally at .500.