It might be a skill for the Phillies to steal wins late in the game

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They did it again Saturday night, roaring back from three separate one-run deficits to beat the Nationals, 4-3, in extras.
No National League team since the 1998 Braves has had a better record through a season’s first 47 games.
Clemens hasn’t been up for long this season but he’s made a serious impact when called upon.
A huge, sometimes overlooked factor in the Phillies’ ability to snatch victory from defeat this season has been the frequent minimization of damage.
The Phillies will spend many more nights this season playing inferior teams than they will facing teams as deep or talented as they are.
Asked about bending but not breaking Saturday night, Sanchez said he wants to emulate what he sees from Zack Wheeler and Aaron Nola.
The music is usually still blasting in the Phillies’ clubhouse 20-to-30 minutes after a game ends but the playlist ended earlier than usual Saturday.
The Phillies go for their sixth sweep of the season Sunday afternoon behind Nola, who pitched a four-hit shutout Tuesday in New York.

POSITIVE

The ability to steal wins, to continuously come back late in games doesn’t seem like a characteristic that should easily translate from one year to the next, but the Phillies are putting it to the test.

They did it again Saturday night, roaring back from three separate one-run deficits to beat the Nationals, 4-3, in extras. After Kody Clemens hit a game-tying solo home run to right center with the Phillies down to their final two strikes, Bryce Harper walked them off with a sacrifice fly one inning later.

It made no difference that Washington hit seven of the game’s hardest balls, and the Phillies had managed just two hits through six innings when Nationals starter MacKenzie Gore was lifted in the seventh.

This team doesn’t seem to be very concerned with anything.

“It doesn’t matter any position that we’re in, how far down we are, how much we’re up or anything like that, we play 27 outs for a reason,” Harper said. And for a whole season, I believe that to be good. Having opportunities and moments like these throughout the season helps your team become even stronger in the postseason because you’ve already experienced these things as a team and can kind of build on them as you go further.

“Every team is unique, and I believe we have a strong group here. “.

Really good might be an understatement. 33-14 is the Phillies’ current record. After 47 games in the season, no National League team has had a better record since the Braves in 1998.

The Phillies have won 14 straight series without a loss. They’ve only lost the first two.

Clemens hasn’t been up for long this season but he’s made a serious impact when called upon. He had four hits, three RBI, a double, a triple, and a home run in his first two starts. He scored the game-tying run on a single off of Mets closer Edwin Diaz on Monday in New York.

He’s going to be hard to remove from the roster if everyone is healthy when Trea Turner eventually returns from a hamstring strain.

“I believe he performs an outstanding job, even when he isn’t participating in the game, of kind of locking in later on against challenging pitchers,” Harper remarked. “This evening, you saw it. Every day, he gets more and more big-league at-bats. “.

Both two weeks ago, on a four-RBI night against the Blue Jays, Clemens was still using Harper’s bat.

After winning on Saturday, Harper joked, “I’ll give him whatever he wants.”.

After Clemens’ swing against Nats closer Kyle Finnegan, the sound off his bat indicated that it was going, but Clemens believed he hit the ball too low to clear the fence. After seeing it land in the seats, he turned to face the exploding dugout.

He remarked, “Every other night, I feel like it’s somebody else.”. “That is incredible. It appears to me that from the moment we arrive, we are all expected to win the match. It’s a really cool atmosphere. Everything is starting to come together. ****.

The frequent mitigation of damage has been a significant, sometimes disregarded, component in the Phillies’ ability to steal wins from losses this season. The Nationals’ sixth hit of the game, coming after 13 batters, came from a leadoff double by Nick Senzel off of Cristopher Sanchez in the top of the fourth. Still, Sanchez turned double plays twice, left a runner in scoring position in the fourth inning with no one out, and retired the last seven batters he faced, four of them by strikeout.

A better opponent than the Nationals might have broken the game open, but in reality, there are far more teams in Washington’s tier than any above it. The National League has five teams above .500. Five. This season, the Phillies will play against weaker teams far more often than they will against teams with as much depth or talent.

Manager Rob Thomson praised Sanchez, saying, “He was outstanding, touching 98 (mph) and holding his command.”. “Changeup was really good. The man’s development on the mental and emotional front, simply persevering through the innings.

“By getting out of innings, getting a ground ball, or getting a double play, our starters are killing the chaos.”. They could make the game sluggish. “.

A pitcher who has a good changeup, like Sanchez, will be even more effective as he hit 98 points on the radar gun and increased his fastball velocity by about 1 mph over the season average. In 49 innings, he has only given up one home run with a 3 point 31 ERA through nine starts.

Asked about bending but not breaking Saturday night, Sanchez said he wants to emulate what he sees from Zack Wheeler and Aaron Nola.

“I strive to emulate that from Wheels and Nola, as great pitchers do,” he remarked. “Even if you get hit around sometimes, that doesn’t stop you, and it doesn’t stop them. I’m trying to see that in myself as well. “.”.

The music is usually still blasting in the Phillies’ clubhouse 20-to-30 minutes after a game ends but the playlist ended earlier than usual Saturday. Perhaps they’ve had enough of listening to the same victory songs all night long.

Coming to the ballpark every day is an incredible feeling, according to Sanchez. “It’s amazing. ****.

Tuesday in New York, Nola pitched a four-hit shutout to lead the Phillies to their sixth sweep of the season on Sunday afternoon.

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