The Phillies trailed the Braves 4-3, with two outs in the 8th inning. The count was 3-2 with rookie Bryson Stott at the plate, and runners on first and second. Ping. The ball flew up, up, up and out! As the ball landed in the right field seats, ecstatic cheers rushed throughout the park as the Phils just took the lead.
After suffering a sweep to the Chicago Cubs at home last weekend, the Phillies desperately needed a win on Monday night. However, things were not off to a great start vs. the defending World Series Champion Braves, as they gave away two runs in the second inning, due to poor defense.
Nevertheless, the Phillies answered back, thanks to base hits from Nick Castellanos, Alec Bohm, and J.T. Realmuto to tie the game. However, the Braves retook the lead 4-3 in the 6th, and took back the momentum in the later innings.
This season, a huge narrative for the Phillies has been the youngsters ability to produce, especially with the setbacks Philadelphia has faced with injuries. For example, although his season numbers do not show it, since June 1, Stott is hitting “.234/.312/.382 with six doubles, seven homers and 24 RBI in 157 plate appearances,” according to Phillies insider Corey Siedman.
Additionally, Siedman states that Stott’s homer on Monday was his “second three-run homer of the season with the Phillies trailing in the eighth inning or later.”
In June, the rookie shortstop also hit a three-run walk off homer, to take the win over the Angels. What is the key take-away from these home runs? Come-from-behind wins are huge, period.
Come-from-behind wins can make or break a team, because they build confidence in players ability. Monday night’s win was huge for the Phils, because it proved that the team is capable of performing in the playoffs.
Although playing catch up is not ideal, it forces the team to build off of each other, and find a way to score runs in clutch opportunities. This plays a major role in post season baseball, especially in do-or-die situations.
Come-from-behind wins also require teams to play more “small-ball.” This instructs players to go back to the basics, and sharpen their fundamentals; by drawing walks, being aggressive on the base pads, laying down bunts, and advancing runners via sacrifice flies. Strategy is highly important in baseball, by taking small steps to achieve a larger goal.
Last but not least, a comeback win increases passion and motivation among players. With Stott’s homer on Monday night, the Phillies bench exploded with emotion, which lacked the entire game up until this point.
Bryce Harper is a huge contributor to the overall energy of the team, as he wears his heart on his sleeve every time he steps onto the field.
Unfortunately, the Phils need to find a way to channel this emotion without Harper for a few more weeks, as he remains on the injured list for a broken left thumb.
According to a tweet from Phillies beat writer Matt Gelb on Monday, “Bryce Harper saw the doctor today but did not have his pins removed. They’re shooting for next Monday. He is continuing to get treatment for his elbow and hopes to be in RF by the end of the season. But priority is DH first.”
Philadelphia continues to fight for the third Wild Card spot, and sits 0.5 games behind the Cardinals. It is vital that they find a way to win the Braves series, as well as this weekend’s series vs. the Pirates, in order to secure a more steady spot in the playoffs.
The Phillies finish the series vs. the Braves in a matinee game on Wednesday at 12:35, with Kyle Gibson and Charlie Morton matching up on the mound.