The Phillies talk a lot about their resilience as a club — the ability to bounce back after tough streaks, ugly losses and daunting starts to the game.
They’ve shown that quality over the past week, winning four of their last seven games, despite their opponent opening all seven games.
Cristopher Sanchez allowed Paul Goldschmidt a two-run home run in Friday night’s first inning, but the Phillies came back with three runs in the second and one in the third, building a multi-run lead and winning 7-2.
Four of the first ten Phillies hitters to get to the plate doubled from Miles Mikolas, a contact-based right-hander who couldn’t get his sinker as deep as he would have liked.
Garrett Stubbs, starting behind the plate for JT Realmuto, opened the scoring with a two-out, two-run double at the end of the second. He didn’t hit the ball hard, but hit it in a perfect spot and dropped it directly to the right of third baseman Nolan Arenado on plate two. Kyle Schwarber followed with an RBI double of his own after falling 2-0 behind.
The Phils put up another run in the third when Bryce Harper hit a single, advanced to third with a wild pitch and flyout and scored with Bryson Stott’s Sacrifice Fly. Alec Bohm hit his career-best 14th home run and extended the lead in the sixth, and Schwarber parried his 35th an inning later. Schwarber has hit eight homers and 18 RBI in his last 16 games.
Harper also tripled and scored in the seventh inning. In the last eight games, he’s hit 14 of 30, with a double, triple, five homers, nine RBI and 11 runs scored.
“I feel like I’m fine at the moment,” Schwarber said. “I feel like the whole team is doing pretty well at the moment. We swung well, made good attacks, made deep counts and were rewarded for it. I just have to keep going.”
The consistent offense throughout the game was welcomed as the Phillies scored most of their recent goals late. They had 51 runs in their last seven games since Friday, including 28 in the seventh inning or later.
Sanchez continues to play for the Phillies. They had no response for the first two and a half months of the season in fifth place in their rotation, but have had the best No. 5 starter in all of baseball since he recalled him from Triple A on June 17. Sanchez has the second-lowest WHIP (0.97). and the fifth-best walk rate (3.8%) in MLB over the period. His 3.14 ERA is the eighth best in the National League.
Also on Friday night, Sanchez did not go for a walk with anyone. Since his recall, he has walked less than one in 25 batters he has faced. Not only has he solved the control problem that has been holding him back with the minors, he has made it his greatest strength. Only George Kirby, Logan Webb, Zach Eflin and Braxton Garrett have been stingier with free passes than Sanchez since his return to the majors.
“He’s almost always given us good starts,” said manager Rob Thomson. “He was just a godsend to us because early in the year we were really struggling at that point by trying to equalize him by using (Matt) Strahm and building his innings to the point where he went up a lot of innings had himself. Sanchy. “Coming here and doing what he did was really good for us.”
After the win, the Phillies are 70-58 and 3-1 after nine home games. They’re three games ahead of the Cubs and Diamondbacks in the battle for top wildcard spot.
The Phils need to be feeling good about the rest of the weekend as Zack Wheeler and Aaron Nola start against another right-hander who doesn’t miss bats on Saturday with Dakota Hudson and a rookie left-hander on Sunday with Drew Rom.
The Cardinals’ inability to turn heads this season has been a major concern. They have the third-worst strikeouts and swinging strikes, the second-highest contact rate, and the second-highest batting average of opponents in MLB. The only teams that are worse in any of these categories are the Rockies and the Nationals. The Phillies will grapple with the cards five more times.
John Mozeliak, president of the St. Louis Baseball Division, said this summer that it’s time for the Cardinals to adjust the way they develop pitchers and who they pursue. For years they’ve cared less about missing bats than the rest of the league and have thrived on quick, weak contact. The elimination of infield shifting has affected them, as has the aging of pitchers like Mikolas and Adam Wainwright.
Keep that in mind as the Cardinals appear to be the main contenders for Nola this offseason.
https://www.nbcsportsphiladelphia.com/mlb/philadelphia-phillies/phillies-news/phillies-comeback-cardinals-cristopher-sanchez-bryce-harper/533707/ Bryce Harper stays hot, Cristopher Sanchez delivers again – NBC Sports Philadelphia