WASHINGTON (AP) – The Phillies JT Realmuto now only need one win – or one more defeat to the Milwaukee Brewers – to end an 11-year drought in Philadelphia.
And the three-time All-Star catcher in his ninth season in the big leagues finally wants to try the playoffs himself.
So of course Realmuto is keeping an eye on what the Brewers are doing by watching them on their cell phone at the club after he helped Philadelphia beat the Washington Nationals 8-1 on Sunday in a game shortened to six innings by a downpour.
“Of course this is what you are playing for. We play to win, get to the posts season and win the World Series. So the fact that I wasn’t able to do that is obviously very disappointing to me, “said Realmuto, who kicked out the would-be base thief in the third inning and hit his 22nd homer in the sixth season. “It’s fun to be in a race and have a chance.”
Philadelphia and interim manager Rob Thomson scored three of the four worst national teams to improve to 86:73 after reaching the city after a five-loss streak. Combine Sunday’s win with the Brewers’ defeat 4-3 (84:75) against the Miami Marlins in 12 innings, and the Phillies have a two-game advantage on NL’s third wildcard with three games left.
Kyle Schwarber and Bryson Stott provided three RBIs each for Philadelphia and Zack Wheeler (12-7) made five goalless innings.
Philadelphia is headed to Houston since Monday, and Milwaukee is visiting Arizona. The Phillies have an advantage over the Brewers if they end up with identical records.
“Relying on other people is not really a plan,” said Thomson of the belief that a Brewers defeat would lead his side to the playoffs. “We must do it.”
Fans opened their umbrellas during the downpour that started in the third round and wrapped themselves against the heat of the 1950s. They watched players slide over the slippery edge where the muddy goal area met the grass, or moved through puddles – actually pools – along the warning lane.
One of the Nationals strikers ended up with a double when first base Phillies, Rhys Hoskins, fell and was unable to play what would normally be a routine goalkeeper. This helped Washington get into sixth; when this round was over, the tarpaulin was pulled out.
– I was a little worried. It was really bad, said Nationals manager Dave Martinez. “The guys were complaining that they couldn’t see very well.”
After almost an hour and a half, the game was triggered.
“It was hard. Windy, cold and definitely wet, ”said Wheeler, who had a rosin bag in his back pocket to dry his throwing hand.
The right one had seven strikes and no walks and allowed only two hits. Since returning to the right forearm tendinitis injury list after a month, Wheeler has skipped one run and nine hits in 15 rounds over three starts.
“It’s exactly what we needed this time of year,” said Realmuto, “so it’s definitely a morale boost for the team.”
Stott scored a RBI kick in the second inning and a double double in the fourth, while Schwarber – who scored twice on Saturday to 44.
“Everyone started swaying a little,” said Wheeler. “We went a little down there … (But) we closed it.”
Patrick Corbin, who helped Washington win the 2019 World Series, gave up seven runs and 10 hits on Sunday 4 2/3 innings, closing the year 6-19 with an ERA 6.31.
“I don’t think the numbers were obviously great,” said Corbin after his 104th defeat of the season, the most since moving to Washington from Montreal in 2005.
Washington’s home finals had an announced attendance of 32,779, although the actual crowd was much less frequent. His total in 2022 was 2,026,401, an average of 25,017. In 2019, in the last season without COVID-19 restrictions, Washington tied 2,259,781 – an average of 27,899.
IN THE FUTURE
Phillies: Thomson said Aaron Nola (10-13, 3.36 ERA), Ranger Suárez (10-6, 3.37) and Bailey Falter (6-4, 3.90) will be his first pitchers against champion AL West Astros, possibly by Lance McCullers (4-1, 2.38 ERA), Justin Verlander (17-4, 1.80), and Framber Valdez (16-6, 2.89).
Countries: Complete a series of three matches for the New York Mets. Washington will start Cory Abbott (0-4, 5.11) against RHP Carlos Carrasco (15-7, 3.95) on Monday.
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