Phillies end skid behind Bailey Falter and 22 hits from the offense

PHOENIX – Hey, how about a thumbs up for Bailey Falter.

This guy has been riding up and down the northeast stretch between Philadelphia and the Lehigh Valley all season, major league one day and minor league the next.

He has been recalled seven times by the big clubs this season. That’s what happens when you’re the sixth starter on a five-man team.

Elbow pain. Come on down, Bailey.

Someone needs an extra day. You know the way, Bailey.

Double head. Yo, Bailey.

Falter came off the bench for the injured Zack Wheeler last week and beat the Pittsburgh Pirates. On Wednesday night, he returned to the hills to score another win for a game-hungry Phillies.

In the best of his 11 major league starts, the lanky 25-year-old southpaw threw 6 1/3 innings and was hitless in the Phillies’ 18-2 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks, At the foot of the Big Mountain in downtown Phoenix.

Falter spread out five hits, including a solo homer, in what could have been his last inning job when he left the game with a one-out in the seventh with a tight right groin. The withdrawal was preventive and after the game, Falter said he was fine and would not miss time.

With 32 games remaining on the season (now 31), it’s pretty close to a must-win for the Phillies. They have lost three straight. Earlier in the day, both San Diego and Milwaukee won wild-card contests. The Phillies didn’t pitch well for the first three days. The bullpen needs a break.

The Phillies faltered as they exorcised some desert demons. They have lost seven straight in Arizona since 2019, including two ugly losses on Monday and Tuesday nights when starting pitchers Ranger Suarez and Aaron Nola combined for 14 lights.

What is it like to get through a tough time for a team in need?

“Absolutely amazing,” Falter said. “We needed the W tonight and that’s what we did. The bat was great and I did my job and gave us a chance to win.”

Falter, who pitches in the stands with family and friends in his home state of California, mostly uses a combination of fastballs and curveballs. His fastball isn’t an overwhelming pitch. He relies on the ability to direct it above the barrel. He had a great time on Wednesday night. The course tops out at 94 mph, and he consistently hits his first pitch.

The Phillies are 4-0 in Falter’s final four games in the majors. All are good starts with six or more innings and three or fewer points. Not bad for a guy who is going back and forth in Triple A.

“If you want to keep going in this game, you have to adapt,” Falter said. “I have work to do, and sometimes you have to go with the flow. It’s not always fair. It’s business. That’s it.”

After being thwarted by Arizona right-hander Zac Gallen the night before, Philadelphia’s bat came alive against rookie southpaw Tommy Henry, who gave up seven hits and seven runs in four innings.

The Phillies finished the night with 22 hits and finished the game on a staggering 15-of-29 shooting with the runners in scoring position. Every Phillies starter has at least two hits. Bryce Harper, Rhys Hoskins and Brandon Marsh have three each.

“We had a good attacking night, played well and Bailey Falter was great again,” manager Rob Thomson said.

Thursday was the day off for the Phils, who are 73-58 in control of their second National League wild-card berth. They will start a weekend series with the San Francisco Giants on Friday night at 24 Willie Mays Plaza. The Giants are rocking. They were swept by the Padres on Thursday, losing seven straight, 11 of 13 from the field, 61-68.

The Phillies will send Kyle Gibson, Noah Syndgarde and Suarez to the mound in the series, and they need to take advantage of a struggling team. Nick Castellanos, who missed the Arizona series with a right big toe injury, may return to San Francisco.

Wheeler, who is sidelined with forearm tendonitis while Phils is in San Francisco, will have a bullpen workout, his final hurdle before he is activated from the injured list and pitching when Phils returns home on Tuesday night. .

It’s unclear what Wheeler’s return will mean for Falter. A trip to the cowshed? Or go back to the northeast extension again?

“Whatever they decide to do to me, I’ll be ready,” he said. “This is the most important.”

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