Stop the presses: The Phillies beat the Diamondbacks!
Wait, what? It happened three times in a row this weekend? Will wonders never cease?
After dropping four games in 10 days to the team with the worst record in the National League, the Phillies rallied for 7-6, 7-0, and 7-4 victories to salvage a 3-3 homestand and hold steady at 4 1/2 games behind the East-leading Atlanta Braves and four games off the pace for the second NL wild card.
Lately, though, it seems as though every Phillies win is offset by a loss. J.T. Realmuto left Sunday’s game after rolling his left ankle, and although the Phillies classified him as “day to day,” they might need to add a catcher to the 40-man roster. The best internal option at triple A: Tyler Heineman, who made a total of 15 starts for Miami and San Francisco over the last two seasons.
It will all depend on how Realmuto feels on Monday.
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Realmuto also has a sore right shoulder, which he downplayed as “normal everyday wear and tear.” But as Matt Breen writes, the All-Star catcher is going to get a lot of playing time at first base down the stretch.
Freddy Galvis came up with a huge hit in Sunday’s victory.
Archie Bradley hadn’t pitched since Tuesday because of a sore shoulder. He got into Sunday’s game and, well, as Joe Juliano writes, it didn’t go well.
The universal DH might have saved Rhys Hoskins’ season. Could that role be in his future?
Tonight: Zack Wheeler vs. Nationals prospect Josiah Gray, 7:05 p.m.
Tomorrow: Matt Moore faces lefty Patrick Corbin in D.C., 7:05 p.m.
Wednesday: Aaron Nola starts finale in Washington, 7:05 p.m.
Thursday: The Phillies are off.
Friday: Kyle Gibson starts series opener in Miami, 7:10 p.m.
Stat of the day
Wheeler is tied with the Brewers’ Corbin Burnes for the most WAR — 5.9, as calculated by FanGraphs — among NL pitchers. Bryce Harper, meanwhile, entered Sunday with 4.9 WAR, second most among NL position players behind the Dodgers’ Trea Turner (5.1).
The last time a position player and a pitcher from the same team paced the NL in WAR was 1981, when the Phillies’ Mike Schmidt and Steve Carlton did so for the second season in a row.
It has happened seven times in the AL since 1986, most recently last season (Cleveland’s Shane Bieber and Jose Ramirez) and in 2019 (the Astros’ Gerrit Cole and Alex Bregman).
From the mailbag
Send questions by email or on Twitter @ScottLauber.
Question: Hi, Scott. I have questions about the extended rosters. When can rosters be extended? How many can be added to the roster? Do you see anyone in the minors who can help the Phils’ playoff drive? — Terry W., via email
Answer: Thanks, Terry. Rosters can be expanded on Sept. 1, as usual. However, rather than going all the way to 40 players, teams will be limited to 28, two more than the 26-man roster that has been in place since opening day.
It will be interesting to see how the Phillies use the extra spots. Regardless, I expect that they will shuttle players in and out, as they do throughout the year. (The minor-league season runs through Sept. 19, two weeks later than usual because of the delayed start.) And many of their moves will be based on need.
In terms of minor leaguers who could make an impact, well, there isn’t much down on the farm. I still believe Alec Bohm could help the Phillies win games, at least with his bat. I’d like to see them give Mickey Moniak an extended look. I suspect, though, that they will rotate some arms in and out to keep the bullpen fresh.