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April 23, 2023

5 awards from the Phillies' series win over the Rockies

The Phillies' bats are coming alive, slugging their way to a series win over the Rockies behind big home runs from Nick Castellanos, Trea Turner and more.

Two series wins in the same week? After a hair-pulling beginning to 2023, Phillies fans will gladly take that, as the Fightins improve to 11-12 on the season. Taking three games out of four from the Rockies, the Phillies' offense is humming with both star players and youngsters taking charge. 

After a disappointing 5-0 loss on Thursday, the Phils reeled off three-straight wins. The Phillies had a pair of 4-3 wins on Friday and Saturday before relying on the long ball in a 9-3 thumping on Sunday. 

As we always do, here are five awards from the series... 

The "Clutch" Award: Edmundo Sosa 🙌

After being in a 3-0 hole Friday night, the Phils battled back, tying things up at 3-3 following a Kyle Schwarber solo home run in the seventh. Come the eighth inning, J.T. Realmuto was on third base with utility infielder Edmundo Sosa up at the plate. He knocked a single into left field, scoring Realmtuo and providing the game-winning hit:

In the top of the ninth, he snagged an absolute rocket off the bat of C.J. Cron for the second-to-last out of the game:

The Phils' role players continue to come up large so far in this young season. 

The "Flipping the Calendar" Award: Nick Castellanos 📅

Nick Castellanos' 2022 woes are long behind him. He's steadily looked more and more like the All-Star he was in 2021 in Cincinnati, turning in a good series against the White Sox earlier this week. He hit a level he hasn't been at in red pinstripes on Saturday, going 3-for-4 and hitting two homers in the 4-3 victory. Castellanos's OPS is inching towards .900 after posting a disastrous .694 OPS in 2022. 

Here's some Captain Obvious analysis for you: If the Phils' big-money hitters can play to their true talent level like Castellnaos is now after the young guys have stepped up, the lineup is going to look dangerous come the summer. 

The "Finding Form" Award: Zack Wheeler 🏎️

While the start looks a tad uneven in the box score, Zack Wheeler had some nasty stuff in Sunday afternoon's win. Wheeler struck out seven batters in the first three innings alone, finishing with 11 total Ks in six innings of work while striking out every Rockies hitter at least once. He didn't throw a single ball in the third inning. The wheels (put intended) looked like they were falling off in the fourth though, as Wheeler allowed the bases loaded with no outs, ultimately surrendering three runs in the frame. He kept things stable enough after that for the Phils to pick up the win. 

Wheeler left Sunday's game with a 4.73 ERA on the season, a far cry from the 2.82 mark he sported during his first three seasons with the Phillies, but bringing that type of juice on the mound will win out over the course of an entire 162-game season. 

The "Back on Track?" Award: Trea Turner 🛤️

It's been an uneven beginning to Trea Turner's Phillies tenure, but he belted one in the first inning on Sunday to give the Phillies a quick 1-0 lead:

Something as simple as that solo shot could be the turning point for Turner as he grows into his new role in Philadelphia. 

The "Bashers" Award: Phillies' lineup 👊

As you've read, the Phils have been going yard a lot as of late. That includes seven homers across just Saturday and Sunday. They entered Sunday tied for 18th in home runs in the majors, a pitiful number for a lineup like this that's predicated on power with an enormous payroll. 

They need to have the bell ringing at Citizens Bank Park all summer long if they want another Red October. 

On Deck: Mariners 🛥️

Seattle (10-11) comes to South Philadelphia for a three-game beginning Tuesday evening. Going into the 2022 season, the Phillies and Mariners had the longest playoffs drought in their respective leagues. Seattle had not made the playoff since their record-breaking 2001 season. The Mariners broke through last fall, winning their American League Wild Card series, but the eventual World Series champion Astros team swept them in the ALDS.

Things have changed!

Here are the probable pitchers for the series:

Date Mariners Phillies 
Tues., 4/25 TBD Bailey Falter (L) 
Wed., 4/26 TBD Taijuan Walker (R) 
Thurs., 4/27 TBD Matt Strahm (L) 

Not much to say about the Mariners' rotation given the slew of TBDs! Matt Strahm, who will start in the series closer, had 11 strikeouts in the Phillies 5-0 loss to Colorado while allowing three runs in 5.1 innings of work. That all-over-the-place performance sums up the Phillies' pitching so far in 2023. 

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