The Philadelphia Phillies have been on both ends of shutouts rather often in the 2022 season. Recently, their pitching has put them on the right side of shutouts, highlighted by their season series with the St. Louis Cardinals.
Here is how the Phillies have made some impressive history in their recent games against the Cardinals.
The Phillies started July with two of three series against the Cardinals. After splitting the first two games of the initial series, the Phillies’ pitching has risen to pure dominance over the Cardinals’ big bats.
On July 3, these two wrapped up the first series with a Sunday Night baseball pitchers duel in Philadelphia. These two brought out their aces for a big battle with Adam Wainwright on the hill for the Cardinals and Zack Wheeler for the Phillies.
The game went into the bottom of the 4th inning without any score, but Rhys Hoskins changed that with a solo homer to put the Phillies up 1-0. That was all Wheeler and the Phillies bullpen needed. Wheeler went seven solid innings where he struck out five and gave up the only four Cardinals hits of the day.
With a few add-on runs in the 6th and excellent pitching the Phillies claimed a 4-0 victory.
The second weekend of July took the Phillies to St. Louis to wrap up their season series just a week after starting it. The final games continued the trend of the end of the first series.
Game four was a rematch between Wainwright and Wheeler which once again did not disappoint.
The Phillies did not get much offense with Wainright on the mound except for Alec Bohm who took him deep twice for two solo homers.
Despite Wainwright going a complete game, the Cardinals were bested by Wheeler who went seven innings again and struck out five. Seranthony Dominguez and Brad Hand came out of the bullpen to close out another shutout.
The Phillies’ pitching and offense from Alec Bohm led the Phillies to a 2-0 victory.
The ultimate pitchers’ duel came on Saturday, July 9, as Kyle Gibson for the Phillies and Dakota Hudson for the Cardinals faced off.
Gibson went seven innings where he struck out five and gave up the only two Cardinals hits. Hudson went six innings where he too only gave up two hits and struck out four. With help from bullpens on both sides, the game remained tied at zero going into the top of the 9th.
The 9th started with a lead-off double into the gap by Darick Hall who was replaced by pinch-runner Mickey Moniak. In an attempt to move Moniak over to third Didi Gregorious laid down a perfect bunt for a single. With first and third nobody out, Alec Bohm gave the Phillies a run with a sacrifice fly.
The bottom of the 9th proved highly stressful for closer Corey Knebel. The inning started with a walk and an error to put runners on the corners with nobody out. Knebel went into shutdown mode with a strikeout of Nolan Arenado and got Dylan Carlson to ground out. He closed out the shutout with a flyout from Corey Dickerson.
The Phillies claimed another shutout of the Cardinals with a 1-0 win.
Their pitching has been so spectacular that they have shut out the Cardinals in three straight games. Even more, their first game against the Washington Nationals on Tuesday was a shutout as well. All of this certainly made some history.
Dating back to the start of the 2000 season, the Phillies have never shut out the Cardinals three times in a season. Only twice, 2002 and 2010, did their pitching shut out the Phillies twice in a season.
Additionally, going back to the 2000 season, this is the first time that the Phillies have recorded four shutouts in a six-game span. The best they have done is three times in six games from April 9-14, 2016.
With their two shutouts to start this series, this marks the first time since September 1-2, 2020 against the Nationals where they shut out a team twice in one series and twice in back-to-back games.
For the Cardinals, it has been since October 2015 that they were last shut out in back-to-back games. In that instance, they ended the regular season by getting shutout in three straight games by the Atlanta Braves.
The Phillies have certainly shown that pitching wins ball games. Their stellar pitching staff continues to put them in a position to win big games. This success has pushed them to a 46-39 record, only 6.5 games back from first place in the National League East. They aim to finish off the series on Sunday with a sweep of the Cardinals before they move on to a three-game series in Toronto against the Blue Jays.
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