MLB Wild Card: Phillies trade deadline pickups shine in win over Reds


CINCINNATI — This is kind of how a front office sets it up when it adds talent at the trading deadline.

Three of the Phillies’ recent additions paid off in an important 4-3 win over the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park on Monday night.

Noah Syndergaard threw seven-plus innings of three-run ball and did not walk.

David Robertson got three huge outs after the Reds made it a one-run game and things got nervous in the eighth.

And Edmundo Sosa was the offensive and defensive star of the game with three RBI’s and two dazzling plays behind Syndergaard on third base.

“All those guys played well,” said manager Rob Thomson. “Syndergaard, his stuff keeps getting better. He threw all kinds of attacks. Robertson was great. He’s been in all those big moments, play-offs, World Series. When you have a man like that, everyone calms down. And Sosa made some great plays.”

Syndergaard and Robertson were acquired by the Phillies both hours before the August 2 trading deadline. Sosa showed up on a deal with St. Louis a few days earlier. The Phillies targeted him as a utility infielder who could play a strong defense from the bench late in games or at the start.

Thomson tried to get as many right-handed bats into the lineup against Mike Minor, the left-hander from Cincinnati. He used Alec Bohm as the designated batter and played Sosa in third place. The action paid off both offensively and defensively.

Sosa had a two-run single in the third inning and an RBI double in the fifth. Both goals came against Minor.

All four runs of the Phillies came with two outs.

The win improved the Phillies to 64-51 and put them back on track after being knocked out by the Mets in New York two days in a row. The Phils have the second wildcard spot in NL, half a game higher than San Diego.

Syndergaard, who made 15 starts with the Angels before being taken over for Mickey Moniak and minor-league outfielder Jadiel Sanchez, is now 2-0 in three starts with the Phillies, and most importantly, the club has triumphed in all three.

“It’s a great feeling,” Syndergaard said. “It’s great to be part of this team and I’m looking forward to the journey.”

Syndergaard missed the 2020 season and most of the 2021 season due to an elbow injury that required surgery from Tommy John. He signed with the Angels in November and that club gave him extra time between starts as he continued his recovery.

Monday-evening against the Reds marked the first time this season that the righthander pitched on four days off. He liked it. There were no problems. He beamed.

Syndergaard’s economy of places was excellent. He threw only 71 in making it through seven innings and struck 58. He gave up two runs in the second inning and a leadoff homer in the bottom of the eighth before Thomson went to Robertson. Seranthony Dominguez threw the ninth and got the save.

Syndergaard finished his performance with just 77 throws. He threw only 16 balls. He collected eight basehits and struckout six. He threw a first-pitch strike to 24 of the 28 batters.

“That’s the most important part of winning the battle with the batter, getting ahead and staying ahead,” he said. “A scout came to my house when I was 17 and asked me what the most important field in baseball was. I said, ‘Fastball? Changeup?’ He said, “No, hit 1.” So that’s something I’m proud of.”

Syndergaard loves life like a Phillie. He quickly bonded with pitching coaches Caleb Cotham and Brian Kaplan. Syndergaard tinkered with his birth as an angel. He thinks he was trying to reinvent himself after the surgery. Cotham and Kaplan convinced him to simplify delivery. Syndergaard loves the results.

“Raise (the left leg) and go, let my athleticism take over and don’t make it harder than it is,” he said of his delivery adjustment. “The strides I’ve made in two rotations with Caleb and Kap have been amazing. I’ve never felt so confident on the mound this year and it shows in my equipment and my ability to make pitches.”

Minor, who started for Cincinnati, is a pitcher who has been linked to the Phillies for many years as a potential trade or free-agent target. The 34-year old lefty came into the game with a 6.24 ERA in 12 starts, which was a welcome sight for the Phillies, who had seen some microscopic ERAs in their previous five games.

The Phillies ranked first against Sandy Alcantara (2.01), Edward Cabrera (2.05), Max Scherzer (1.93), Jacob deGrom (1.62) and Chris Bassitt (3.27) in their previous five games . They lost three of those games, all by shutout.

The Phils rallied for three runs with two outs against Minor in the third inning. Nick Castellanos knocked in one and Sosa delivered the other two.

After two straight shutouts in New York, the rally was like a burden lifted off the bat rack. The Phillies will try to beat the Reds behind Kyle Gibson twice in a row on Tuesday night.

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The Valley Voice
The Valley Voice
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.


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