The Phillies won a game that they would oftentimes lose on Wednesday night, surviving a Seranthony Domínguez blow up in the late innings. Domínguez squandered a brilliant start from Ranger Suárez, but poor defense from the Diamondbacks and a clutch Nick Castellanos sacrifice fly brought home a 4-3 Phils win.
Suárez was absolutely dominant in his seventh outing of the season, twirling 7.0 scoreless frames, yielding only four hits and two walks, while punching out seven. The southpaw befuddled a potent Diamondbacks lineup all night, and left in line for a win with the Phils up 3-0.
The way the Phillies scored their first two runs wasn’t particularly flashy, it got the job done. Arizona starter Merrill Kelly issued back-to-back walks to begin the game, but the Phils failed to score in that golden opportunity. They had Kelly on the ropes again in the second, after a Bryson Stott triple and Kody Clemens walk put runners on the corners with no one out. Edmundo Sosa grounded one to shortstop, beating the throw to first to give the Phils their first run of the game.
It was more of the same in the third inning, when Trea Turner doubled and Nick Castellanos moved him over with a fly out to right field. Bryce Harper walked to put men on the corners with one down, and J.T. Realmuto beat out a double play ball to short to put the Phils ahead 2-0. Both teams were silent until the top of the sixth inning. Realmuto demolished a hanging curveball from Kelly deep into the left field seats to give the Phillies a comfortable 3-0 lead heading into the last third of the game.
After Suárez’s spotless 7.0 innings, Rob Thomson called upon Seranthony Domínguez to preserve the lead. Last year’s stopper has looked eminently hittable in 2023, and unfortunately that remained the case on Wednesday. Domínguez issued a lead off double to Jake McCarthy, followed by a walk to Geraldo Perdomo to bring the tying run to the plate. He did well to collect the next two outs without allowing a run to score, but ran into trouble with Phillie killer Christian Walker.
In a 1-2 count Domínguez showed off his season-long lack of command, uncorking a wild pitch to move both runners up. On the very next offering he hung a cement mixer of a slider, which Walker blasted deep into the left field bleachers to knot things up at 3-3. Just like that the Phillies were in trouble in a game they had been comfortably leading all night.
Gregory Soto came on to coax the last out in the eighth, and Craig Kimbrel kept the Snakes off the board in the ninth to send the game to extra innings. Brandon Marsh started the tenth inning as the ghost runner on second base, and Kyle Schwarber popped out to begin the frame. Trea Turner looked to do the same, but a miscommunication between D-Backs’ fielders allowed the ball to drop and put runners on second and third with one out. Nick Castellanos then hit a deep fly ball to center field for a sacrifice fly, and the Phils gained a 4-3 advantage.
José Alvarado came on for the save opportunity, and coaxed a quick first out. He then issued a free pass to the fearsome Walker, before punching out Gabriel Moreno and inducing a groundout from Corbin Carroll to end the ball game.
This game was both electrifying and heart attack-inducing at the same time. Seranthony Domínguez’s most recent failure is another bad sign from a pitcher who has been up and down all year, but also coincided with Ranger Suárez’s best outing of the year. This hard-fought victory once again brings the Phillies’ season-long record up to the .500 mark. Let’s just hope it stays above there for the rest of the season.