MLB Wild Card: Phillies come back late against Sandy Alcantara for 7th straight win

·4 min read

Another ‘best win of the year’ candidate as Phillies pull off huge rally vs. Alcantara originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

What can't the Phillies do right now?

They came all the way back Wednesday night against the National League's Cy Young favorite, Sandy Alcantara, scoring three times in the bottom of the eighth inning for an improbable 4-3 win, one of their best of the season.

"I'm still trying to process all of it," starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard said at his locker a half hour later.

Alcantara had totally dominated the Phils early, opening with three perfect innings and needing just 45 pitches to get through five scoreless. He allowed a run in the sixth inning on Kyle Schwarber's RBI double but carried a two-run lead into the eighth, when the Phillies got to him for six singles in the span of seven hitters.

The crowd of 23,021 was on its feet for every big pitch and was rocking during the decisive rally.

"I'm sure the atmosphere got to him, too," Schwarber said. "People were loud, they were on their feet cheering. Once all of those things come into one, it can be a little rattling."

Jean Segura and Bryson Stott opened the bottom of the eighth with back-to-back base hits. Brandon Marsh tried to sacrifice them over but fell behind in the count 0-2, then made up for it by singling in Segura.

Schwarber tied the game with an RBI single, his third consecutive hit off of Alcantara, but the rally nearly ended there as Rhys Hoskins lined into a double play at third base. J.T. Realmuto came through again with a two-out, game-winning RBI single. It was Realmuto's 26th RBI in his last 25 games.

"Super exciting, the team's ability to stay in the fight," Syndergaard said. "What Schwarber did to arguably the best pitcher in the game right now was super impressive. Just a testament to the grit of this team and to always continue the fight."

The win was the seventh in a row and 12th in 13 games for the Phillies. They are 62-48 and remain in the second NL wild-card spot.

"I just think we have the right guys in this clubhouse," Realmuto said. "We have a lot of confidence in ourselves, and I've said this many times before but we don't feel we're ever out of a game. Our lineup's too deep, we're too consistent. If our pitching staff keeps us in games, we're gonna find a way to win a lot more than we don't."

Syndergaard delivered a quality start, allowing two runs over six innings to bounce back from his hittable debut last week against the Nationals. He threw more sliders, hard ones, and has veered away from his four-seam fastball, throwing almost exclusively sinkers.

Syndergaard's best work came late. He retired seven in a row from the fourth through sixth innings, picking up the final two outs after walking consecutive batters in his final frame.

His line in two starts with the Phillies: 11 innings, 17 hits, 6 runs, 2 walks, 6 strikeouts.

His night might have been worse if not for another strong showing from the Phillies' defense. In the first inning, Nick Castellanos chased down a ball in the right-center-field gap and threw to first for a double play. In the second, Hoskins made a diving stop for a force-out at second base that would have otherwise loaded the bases or scored a run. In the sixth, the ever-improving Alec Bohm dove to snag a ball to his right for the first out and charged a grounder to end the inning.

"You see the guys, the work they do every single day, you're not surprised by the results we're getting on the defensive side of the baseball," Schwarber said.

The Phillies wrap up their three-game series with the Marlins Thursday at 1:05 p.m. as Kyle Gibson opposes Daniel Cabrera. From there, the Phils head to Citi Field for their first meetings with the Mets since the end of May.

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