MLB Wild Card: Phillies beat Braves behind Nick Castellanos, David Robertson

ATLANTA — Nick Castellanos raised his proper hand in triumph and gave it somewhat pump as he rounded first base. In the dugout, his teammates went somewhat nuts.

It’s been a troublesome first season in Philadelphia for the massive free-agent addition, however all of the grind and all of the stress appeared to fade with one swing underneath the new Georgia solar Wednesday afternoon.

Castellanos’ first homer in additional than a month, a tie-breaking, two-run shot to heart with two outs within the high of the eighth, lifted the Phillies and Zack Wheeler to an enormous 3-1 win over the Atlanta Braves.

Castellanos’ ninth homer of the season was his first since June 30 and a span of 113 plate appearances.

His response rounding the bases instructed simply how cathartic it was for him.

The response within the dugout confirmed simply how a lot help his teammates have for him.

“It was electrical (within the dugout) as a result of everyone seems to be pulling for him,” supervisor Rob Thomson mentioned. “They know what he is gone via they usually know that he cares and they also care about him. It was actually neat.”

Wheeler was sensible. He pitched seven innings and allowed only one run on a mistake slider to Orlando Arcia with two outs within the fifth. The right-hander walked none and struck out seven however was no run help till the Phillies rallied for 3 within the high of the eighth.

Wheeler was on the dugout steps when Castellanos took Collin McHugh deep.

“Nick’s a extremely good hitter,” Wheeler mentioned. “He’s simply struggled somewhat, however I feel individuals exaggerate it greater than it’s. He’s been a fairly stable hitter for us in case you actually have a look at it. It was good to see him get that residence run in a giant spot.”

Castellanos’ greatest hit as a Phillie does not occur if JT Realmuto does not leg out a possible double-play ball that will have ended the inning. Rhys Hoskins walked with one out towards Charlie Morton and Alec Bohm singled towards McHugh earlier than Realmuto beat out the ball. At first, he was referred to as out. The Phillies received the problem.

“What a play,” Thomson mentioned. “Rhys will get it going. Bohmer has the hit. JT busts it to maintain the inning going and provides Casty an opportunity to hit a giant residence run. That was a giant hit for him.”

With the lead, Thomson pulled all the correct strings within the bullpen to get it to the end line. Seranthony Dominguez obtained two outs within the eighth. Jose Alvarado retired harmful Matt Olson to finish the inning. Then the newly acquired David Robertson got here in, nonetheless carrying blue Chicago Cubs spikes, and nailed down the save.

Robertson was with the Phillies in 2019 and 2020 however pitched in solely seven video games after coming to city on a two-year, $23 million free-agent contract and blowing out his proper elbow. At 37, after surgical procedure and an arduous rehab, he is again and he lastly has his first save as a Phillie.

Asked how that felt, Robertson mentioned, “It was positively higher than blowing it, if you’d like the reality. I had plenty of onerous outings after I was right here the final time and it felt good to nail one down for the group. We performed onerous, fought again and obtained a very nice win at this time.”

The Phillies ended their street journey at 5-1. They return residence Thursday night time with new faces (Noah Syndergaard will pitch) and a 56-48 file. They management the third and last wild-card spot within the NL.

No one Phillie comes residence feeling higher than Castellanos, who had 11 hits and 5 RBIs on the journey.

“I feel it is me simply progressively attempting to do much less and fewer and being proud of a base hit to proper discipline,” he mentioned of his sizzling streak. “I feel that is a superb place to begin for me. Just progressively letting go of expectations and getting again to letting the sport come to you.”

And as for that emotional journey across the bases and the greeting he obtained from teammates within the dugout…

“I used to be actually comfortable,” Castellanos mentioned. “For me personally, in fact, it felt nice, however extra importantly, the Phillies wanted it. We’ve obtained actually high quality individuals on this group, and on the finish of the day that is all you’ll be able to ask for.”

Well, that and a productive commerce deadline and a shot to make the playoffs.

“It sends a message that profitable is the expectation right here,” Castellanos mentioned of the deadline additions. “I’ve been a part of deadlines when individuals are leaving the clubhouse as an alternative of getting added. It feels good when you could have established guys coming in.

“With the additions we made plus (Jean Segura and Bryce Harper) coming again, this was the most effective deadline we may ask for. We nonetheless have not clicked on all cylinders but and we’re in playoff competition. It ought to be fascinating. “

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