PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES NOTES:
GAME #37 RECAP: The Phillies defeated the Toronto Blue Jays, 2-1, on a getaway day in South Philly … Starter Zack Wheeler (ND) went 7.0 innings and allowed 1 run on 3 hits with 1 walk and 7 strikeouts … Down 1-0 heading into the 9th, the Phillies rallied to send it to extras … They won it in the 10th on a walkoff error that scored Edmundo Sosa … Gregory Soto, Seranthony Dominguez and Craig Kimbrel made scorless appearances in relief of Wheeler.
MORE ON WEDNESDAY: In Wednesday’s game the Phillies were trailing 1-0 in the bottom of the 9th before tying it at 1-1 and winning it in extras on a walk-off error … The last time the Phillies trailed 1-0 in the bottom of the 9th, tied it, and won the game in extra innings was on August 20, 1963, in the second game of a double header against the Mets (there have been several instances since where the Phillies trailed 1-0 going into the bottom of the 9th and won it then) … In that game in 1963, Ruben Amaro Sr. entered the game in the 8th inning as a pinch-hitter for Bobby Wine before remaining in the game at shortstop … In the 12th, Amaro singled to right field before scoring the winning run on a Tony Taylor single to center.
STARTING TO FIND IT: Over the last three games (since 5/7, all Phils wins), Philadelphia’s starting staff has allowed only 4 ER in 19.0 IP (1.89 ERA) with 19 strikeouts to 3 walks … Taijuan Walker went 6.0 innings (6 SO, 0 BB) and allowed 1 ER on 5/7 vs BOS, Aaron Nola went 6.0 innings (6 SO, 2 BB) and allowed 2 ER on 5/9 vs TOR and Zack Wheeler went 7.0 innings (7 SO, 1 BB) and allowed 1 ER on 5/10 vs TOR … Philadelphia’s starting staff has allowed 552 balls in play this season with an average exit velocity of 87.9 MPH which ranks T-3rd among all MLB starting staffs (league average is 89.2 MPH).
COLD HARD FACTS: The Phillies take the field tonight winners of eight of their last nine games against the Rockies (since 4/20/2022) and in that span, have outscored Colorado 58-29 (+29) … 8 of those 9 games have come at Citizens Bank Park where the Phillies have an all-time record of 43-24 against the Rockies (.642 win %) … Here at Coors Field, the Phillies are 12-15-4 in series play with a 44-51 record (.463 win %) which includes a 4-13 record since 2017 (.235 win %) … The last time the Phillies won a series in Denver was July 13-15, 2012 (2 of 3).
GLOVELY: The Phillies enter tonight’s game with a .990 fielding percentage as a team that ranks 4th among all NL clubs and 6th in MLB … Individually, Bryson Stott has a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage in 142 total chances at second base … Stott leads the Phillies this season with 5 Defensive Runs Saved (DRS) and ranks T-3rd among all MLB second basemen, trailing only TEX’s Marcus Semien (7 DRS) & SD’s Ha-seong Kim (7 DRS) … Stott has played 82 career games at second base (76 GS) and has not made an error in 311 total chances to begin his career … Per Elias, Stott has the longest errorless streak at second base to begin a Phillies career – he eclipsed Tomas Perez’s previous streak of 57 games, April 2, 2001-August 2, 2002 … The last major league second baseman to start his career at second base with 82 consecutive errorless games was Christian Arroyo who went 108 straight games from May 16, 2017-Sept. 28, 2022.
CASTY’S BACK, TELL A FRIEND: Phils right fielder Nick Castellanos has gotten ahead 1-0 in 51 plate appearances this season – after taking ball one, Castellanos is slashing .457/.510/.783 with a 1.292 OPS that ranks 4th out of 206 MLB players with at least 40 plate appearances that start 1-0 … He has nine extra-base hits (6 2B, 3 HR) after getting ahead 1-0 … Last season, Castellanos got ahead 1-0 in 174 plate appearances and totaled only 10 extra-base hits as he slashed .197/.276/.299 with a .575 OPS that ranked 201st out of 203 qualified hitters.
BULLISH ON THE PEN: Since April 16, the Phillies bullpen has combined to post a 3.22 ERA (26 ER, 72.2 IP) in 22 games with 87 strikeouts (10.78 SO/9.0 IP) … The bullpen is 8-for-9 in save opportunities in that span … This stretch includes three games at Dodger Stadium from May 1-3 – in those three games, the bullpen allowed 20 ER in 11.1 IP (15.88 ERA) with a blown save … If you subtract those three games from the bullpen’s totals since April 16, they have a 0.88 ERA (6 ER, 61.1 IP) in 19 games … Overall this year, the Phillies bullpen has allowed 357 balls in play with an average exit velocity of 87.5 MPH which is 3rd-best in MLB behind only CHI (87.4 MPH) & LAA (87.4 MPH) … Of those 357 balls in play, 118 have been hit 95 MPH or harder and Philadelphia’s 33.1% hard hit rate is best among all bullpens in MLB.
ON THE DOORSTEP OF HISTORY: Right-hander Craig Kimbrel has 1,119 career strikeouts which currently ranks 12th all-time among MLB relievers – Kenley Jansen ranks 11th at 1,124 and Hall-of-Famer Trevor Hoffman ranks 10th at 1,133 … Over his last 10 appearances (since 4/16) Kimbrel has struck out 17 of the 35 batters he has faced (48.6%) while walking only three (8.6%) … Kimbrel is three saves away from 400 for his career as he looks to become only the 8th pitcher in MLB history to reach 400.
A REAL UNICORN: Phillies catcher J.T. Realmuto ranks T-3rd among all MLB players this year in triples (3) and trails only teammate Brandon Marsh (4) and KC’s Bobby Witt Jr. (4) for the major league lead … Among all active catchers in MLB, Realmuto’s 31 career triples are equal to the next three catchers behind him, combined (Salvador Perez – 11, Wilson Contreras & James McCann – 10) … Realmuto, 5-for-7 in stolen bases this year, ranks in the 89th percentile among MLB players with an average sprint speed of 28.6 feet/second – that ranks 4thon the Phillies, behind only Trea Turner (30.0 ft/sec), Edmundo Sosa (29.4 ft/sec) and Marsh (28.7 ft/sec).
ANGEL IN THE OUTFIELD: Center fielder Brandon Marsh has more than doubled his walk rate from 6.1% last season to 14.4% entering play tonight … His 8.3% jump in walk rate from last year is the third largest spike of any player in baseball from 2022 to 2033, behind only Ian Happ (+9.1%) and Luis Rengifo (+8.8%) … Marsh has walked twice in each of his last two games which marks the first time in his career he has multiple walks in consecutive games … Marsh reached 18 walks on Wednesday in his 125th plate appearance of the season … Last season, Marsh reached 18 walks on July 13th in his 282nd plate appearance … Marsh is slashing .311/.416/.575 with a .991 OPS this year – his 169.4 OPS+ ranks 7th in MLB behind only OAK’s Brent Rooker (202.4), TB’s Yandy Diaz (182.2), TOR’s Matt Chapman (180.8), ATL’s Sean Murphy (180.5), ATL’s Ronald Acuna Jr. (174.9) and TB’s Randy Arozarena (169.9)
TONIGHT’S STARTER – TAIJUAN WALKER • RHP #99
2023: 3-2, 5.97 ERA Career: 57-52, 3.97 ERA
Walker vs Houck … The Phillies defeated the Boston Red Sox, 6-1, on Mother’s Appreciation Day at Citizens Bank Park … Kyle Schwarber went 2-for-3 with a home run and a walk and J.T. Realmuto had 2 hits and 2 RBI … Jose Alvarado and Matt Strahm made scoreless appearances in relief of Walker.
- Rocky Mountain High: Walker has a 2.05 career ERA (10 ER, 44.0 IP) in 7 career starts vs COL, including a 1.08 mark (3 ER, 25.0 IP) with 30 SO and 1 HR allowed in his last 4 starts against them … He has won each of his last 3 starts at Coors Field and has posted a 2.03 ERA (7 ER, 31.0 IP) overall in his 5 starts there … There are 221 pitchers ever with at least 5 career starts at Coors Field and Walker’s ERA is the lowest (next: Adam Wainwright (2.22) … Only 20 if the 221 pitchers on that list have an ERA 4.00 or below
- Best of the Year: Walker’s last start was his best of the season, as he allowed just 1 run and 3 base runners through 6.0 IP against BOS … It was his first start of the season with no walks (first with fewer than 2) and he averaged just over 14.1 pitchers per innings, after averaging more than 18.6 per inning in his first 6 starts
- Finding his Strikeout Stuff: Walker, who had 17 strikeouts in his first 4 starts (5, 5, 4 ,3) has 18 in his last 3, (6, 6, 6) and is now back above a strikeout per IP this season (35 SO, 34.2 IP)
- Doing the Splits: Walker has used his splitter 35.0% of the time in 2023, by far the highest rate of his career (previous: 27.6% in 2022) … He has thrown it more often than any other pitch (217 times, next: 4-seam and sinker, 139 times) and has surrendered only 1 XBH (3B) on it
- From the Ground Up: Walker’s 52.1% ground ball rate is 10thhighest among all NL pitchers (min. 30.0 IP)
- vs NL West: 12-11, 3.60 ERA (74 ER, 185.0 IP) in 33 starts
- 2023: 2-2, 6.75 ERA (15 ER, 20.0 IP) in 4 starts
- Career: 32-31, 4.08 ERA (216 ER, 476.2 IP) in 91 games (89 starts)
- Made his season and Phillies debut on 4/3 at NYY after signing a 4-year contract with the club in December
- Pitched for Team Mexico in the 2023 World Baseball Classic, making one start in Pool Play against Great Britain … He threw 4.0 scoreless IP with 2 baserunners allowed and recorded 8 of his 12 outs via strikeout
COLORADO ROCKIES NOTES:
THE GANG COMES HOME HOT HOT HOT
- The Colorado Rockies return home to Coors Field for a six-game homestand against the Philadelphia Phillies and the Cincinnati Reds.
- The Rockies are coming off of a 4-3 road trip to New York and Pittsburgh, taking two of three in each stop … won yesterday’s rubber match in Pittsburgh 4-3 after overcoming an early 3-0 deficit.
- Colorado has won each of their last three series after losing or splitting each of their first seven series of the season, their longest series winning streak since winning three-straight July 7-17, 2022 … Colorado has not won four-straight series since winning the first five series of the 2020 season.
- The Rockies are off to a 7-2 start in May, a .778 winning percentage that is tied for the best mark in baseball this month … Colorado went 9-20 in April, their worst record in the month of April in franchise history.
- The Rockies have won eight of their last 10 and are 10-5 through their last 15 since April 24, a .667 winning percentage that is tied for the third-best mark in MLB (third in the NL) over that span.
- Colorado has posted a 3.48 team ERA (132.0 IP, 51 ER) over their last 15 games, seventh-lowest in the Majors and the third-best in the NL … Rockies starters have posted a 3.95 ERA (73.0 IP, 32 ER) with 26 walks and 48 strikeouts over this span, while the bullpen has pitched to a 2.90 ERA (59.0 IP, 19 ER) with 25 walks and 65 strikeouts.
- Since April 24, Colorado hitters are slashing .270/.339/.418 with 13 home runs while going 44-for-126 (.349) with runners in scoring position.
THROW THE BALL (JUST NOT AT SANTA)
- In yesterday’s 4-3 win in Pittsburgh, five Rockies relievers combined to throw 6.1 scoreless innings \with two hits allowed and 12 strikeouts, the most strikeouts by a team’s bullpen in a single game in the Majors this season, and the fourth time in franchise history that Rockies relievers have recorded at least 12 strikeouts (last: Sept. 24, 2019 at San Francisco).
- The Rockies bullpen has posted a collective ERA of 3.02 (101.1 IP, 34 ER) over the last 25 games since April 14, the second-lowest bullpen ERA in the NL over that span (Cincinnati, 2.98) … have allowed just seven home runs with 44 walks and an NL leading 112 strikeouts over that span and second in the Majors to Kansas City’s 118.
- Jake Bird is leads the Majors with 25.0 innings of relief and is fourth in the Majors and leads the NL with 28 strikeouts out of the bullpen … has posted a 0.47 ERA (19.1 IP, 1 ER) with five walks and 24 strikeouts over his last 12 appearances since April 11.
- Brent Suter’s 23.0 innings of relief are fourth in the Majors and second in the NL behind Bird … his 1.17 ERA (23.0 IP, 3 ER) is the fifth-lowest in the Majors and the third-lowest through a pitcher’s first 15 games (min. 15 IP) to begin their Rockies career, trailing Chuck McElroy’s 0.55 ERA in 1998 and Jose Mesa’s 0.60 ERA in 2006.
- Justin Lawrence has posted a 1.40 ERA (19.1 IP, 3 ER) through 16 appearances, the sixth-lowest ERA among NL relievers (min. 15 IP) … his .143 opponent batting average also ranks sixth among NL relievers … has limited right-handed hitters to a .088 average (3-for-34) with one double, two walks and 17 strikeouts.
- From Opening Day through the end of April, the Rockies’ 21 errors and 20 unearned runs were the most in the National League … since May 1, the Rockies have made just one error, tied with three other teams for the fewest in the Majors during that span … they are one of three teams to not allow an unearned run this month.
- Rockies catchers have thrown out 12 of 28 attempted base stealers, the most catcher caught stealings in the Majors and the best stolen base percentage (57.1) in the Majors … Rockies catchers have thrown out each of the last six attempted base stealers since May 3 … on Monday, Elias Díaz recorded a career-high and franchise-record tying three caught stealings Monday night for the first time in his career.
PHILLY (NOT SO) SPECIAL
- The Rockies face the Phillies for the second time this season after dropping three of four games in Philadelphia April 20-23.
- Colorado has dropped eight of the last nine to the Phillies since April 20, 2022, with eight of those games coming at Citizens Bank Park.
- The Rockies have not dropped a home series to the Phillies since 2012 … are 21-10 vs. them at Coors Field since 2013, including 11-3 since 2018.
ROCKIES STARTING PITCHER – #26 AUSTIN GOMBER LHP
HI, I’M AUSTIN
- Winter Garden, Fla., native is in his 10th professional season, his fifth in the Majors and his third with the Rockies.
- Acquired by Colorado, along with four other players including INF Elehuris Montero in exchange for 3B Nolan Arenado.
- Originally selected by St. Louis in the fourth round of the 2014 First-Year Player Draft out of Florida Atlantic University.
TURN THE TIDE
- Has earned the win in each of his last three starts, the third time in his career winning at least three consecutive decisions (last: five wins, June 3, 2021-July 27, 2021) … has allowed three runs over 17.1 IP for a 1.59 ERA … seven walks and 10 strikeouts across that span with opponents batting .190 (11-for-58).
- Last time out May 6 at New York-NL, logged his third quality start of the season, allowing two runs on five hits over 6.0 innings, walking two and fanning three.
- Was on the losing side of each of his first four starts of the season, the eighth time a Rockies starter has started 0-4 through their first four starts of a season … first since Roy Oswalt (five straight, June 20-Sept. 14) and Jeff Manship (four straight, Aug.8-24) in 2013.
I’M PHIL-ING FINE
- Making his third career appearances (second start) against the Phillies …0-1 with a 5.40 ERA (6.2 IP, 4 ER) against the club with two walks and seven strikeouts.
- Lone start came on April 28 last year at Citizens Bank Park, allowing three runs (two earned) on three hits over 6.0 innings, walking one and striking out five in a 7-1 Rockies loss … two runs over 0.2 innings of relief on June 19, 2018 with the Cardinals.
- Earned his first win of the season on April 24 at Cleveland, tossing 5.0 shutout innings with three hits, three walks and three strikeouts …
exited the game with the Rockies up 6-0, his first time receiving at least six runs of support in a start since July 2, 2022 vs. Arizona (7 RS in an 11-7 Rockies win) … marked his first winning decision since July 12, 2022 vs. San Diego (6.0,6,1,1,1,3).
- Marked the eighth start of his career logging at least five scoreless innings, his fifth overall as a Rockie … last logged five or more scoreless frames on April 23, 2022 at Detroit in a 3-2 Rockies win (6.0,4,0,0,0,8).
ON YOUR LEFT
- Since joining the Rockies, has held left-handed hitters to a .232/.286/.387 slash line with 10 home runs allowed.
- Held opposing left-handed hitters to a .221 average in 2022 (30-for136), the lowest lefty opponent average by a Rockies left-hander since Kyle Freeland in 2018 (.185) and the ninth-lowest in a single season in franchise history (min. 140 batters faced).
HAPPY HOME VS. ROCKY ROAD
- In 52 career home games (27 starts) with both St. Louis and Colorado, is 12-9 with a 4.41 ERA (177.2 IP, 87 ER).
- Since joining the Rockies, has gone 9-7 with a 4.64 ERA (132.0 IP, 68 ER) at Coors Field with 35 walks and 94 strikeouts … in 2021, went 5-1 with a 2.09 ERA (47.1 IP, 11 ER) in nine starts at home, posting a 0.95 WHIP.
- Since 2020, is 9-7 with a 4.26 ERA (145.2 IP, 69 ER) in 36 games (23 starts) in his home ballpark … in road games through the same span, is 8-14 with a 5.67 ERA (150.2 IP, 95 ER) in 40 games (27 starts).