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May 22, 2023

Bryson Stott's pinch-hit homer highlights Phillies' bench's impact

In the latest installment of "Who won the week in Philly sports," Bryson Stott's pinch-hit heroics put a bow on a strong series from Phillies bench players.

Bryson Stott began the 2023 season doing his best Joe DiMaggio impression, getting off to a 17-game hit streak. In his most recent trip to the plate on Sunday afternoon, he did his best Matt Stairs impression. 

With the Phillies in a 0-0 tie in the bottom of the seventh inning, Stott was called to pinch hit for Josh Harrison. With two strikes on the count and staring down a 96 MPH fastball from Cubs righty Adbert Alzolay, Stott sent a shot over the right field fence, giving the Phillies a lead they wouldn't relinquish. 

The dude is a gamer and a winner.

"Who won the week in Philly sports" is my recurring Monday feature here at PhillyVoice. We're in a bit of a sports dead period before Eagles training camp starts and after the Sixers and the Flyers mailed in their annual spring performances. I'm going a little bit outside the box for this week's choice, bestowing the honor upon the Phillies' bench after a weekend series win over the Cubs.

Sure, Stott is an everyday player coming off the bench in this spot, but a clutch at-bat like this can ignite a fire under a team. Amongst the other reserves stepping up, there was Kody Clemens homering on Saturday with Garrett Stubbs adding a pinch-hit triple, the backup catcher's biggest move as a Phillie since adding "Dancing On My Own" to his Spotify playlist. Edmundo Sosa got a hit in every game against Chicago this weekend, doubling once in each of Saturday and Sunday's wins, too. 

This city needs the Phillies to be good more than ever as the Sixers have left the bitter taste of a second-round exit in fans' mouths once again and we're still a bit away from Eagles training camp. Philadelphia needs reliable nightly sports entertainment and even after tripping over themselves at times in an attempt to bring it, the Phils can bring those feel-good vibes like in Saturday's blowout 12-3 win and on Sunday with Stott's heroics. 

Moments like this should be appreciated, but they don't mask the Phillies' larger issues, of course. These timely performances from unsung players are critical to any successful team, as are leaps in development for guys like Brandon Marsh, who I still can't believe his posting an .870 OPS and looks good doing it. The Phillies' troubles lie in the inconsistencies from their big-name and big-money players both in the rotation and in the lineup. 

Inconsistency has defined this era of Phillies baseball even with the aura of last fall's lighting-in-a-bottle pennant run hanging above it. If there's going to be another installment of Red October in 2023, it's going to take the likes of Trea Turner and Kyle Schwarber delivering in spots like the one Stott just did. At this point in the sports calendar, Phillies fans and the city as a whole deserve that, to watch a baseball team that's A-OK

Who won the Week 2023 Tally:

Joel Embiid: 5

James Harden: 3

Phillies bench: 1

Howie Roseman: 1

Tobias Harris: 1

Bryson Stott: 1

Mac McClung: 1

Haason Reddick: 1

Kenny Gainwell: 1

DeVonta Smith: 1

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