There's no better feeling than beating the Mets — except when it's a four-game sweep.
The Phillies on Sunday took care of business at Citizens Bank Park, with a 5-2 victory on Fan Appreciation Day. The Fightins' are now 87-69, putting them at a season-best 18 games over .500.
More importantly, the magic number to clinch a playoff berth now sits at one.
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Christopher Sanchez went out and did exactly what he needed to, (and also redeemed himself from his previous outing against the Braves in the process).
Sanchez went seven innings strong, striking out 10 — tying his career-best and allowed just one walk. He didn't allow a hit until the fifth inning, when DJ Stewart singled off of him. Sanchez was then met with a nice round of applause from the 41,139 fans in attendance.
It took until the fourth inning for the offense to show up for the Phillies but you always know when it rains … it pours. (Yes, bad weather comment to tie in the gloomy weekend weather.)
Bryce Harper started off the inning with a walk and made his way to third base off a single from Bryson Stott. Stott quickly stole second, marking his 30th stolen base of the season.
J.T. Realmuto worked a 3-1 count before knocking a single to left field, driving in both Harper and Stott.
Realmuto sure picked a good time to figure things out at home. Through the four-game series, Realmuto had six hits, six RBI and one home run.
The craziest part of it all?
If the rain hadn't pushed the initial 1:05 p.m. start time back to 6:05, chances are Realmuto wouldn't have played.
"From top to bottom, we pitched well, the bullpen did a really good job and we scored timely runs," Realmuto said postgame.
"That's still a quality team over there. Any time you can beat a Major League team four times in a row, especially this time of year with what's on the line, we'll take that.
"We just gotta continue the momentum for next week."
Nick Castellanos, after striking out in his first plate appearance of the night, hit his 29th home run of the season. It was a two-run shot to left field.
The Phillies rolled into the fifth inning up 4-0 but they weren't finished yet. Trea Turner hit his 33rd double of the season and scored off a Harper single.
Sanchez had his only hiccup of the night in the top of the sixth, where he allowed a two-run home run to Ronny Mauricio. He came out for one more inning — a quick one-two-three to shut down the Mets.
After Rob Thomson experimented with the piggy back game Sanchez's last outing with Michael Lorenzen, it was reassuring to see that Topper allowed No. 61 to finish out strong. He had high praise for him following his performance.
"His poise level, how he commands the baseball and how he commands his demeanor is just unbelievable," Thomson said following the win. "I'm not sure where we'd be without him, I'm really not. When he came in here, he solidified that slot when we were struggling."
Orion Kerkering came in to relieve Sanchez, officially making his MLB debut … and what a debut it was. He saw three batters, striking out two.
Talk about making an immediate impact.
The Phillies are off on Monday before kicking off the final week of the regular season. They will host the Pirates for a three-game series before traveling up to New York to face the Mets one last time.
Aaron Nola, Ranger Suarez and Zack Wheeler will be the starters against the Pirates.