Castellanos comes up huge once again as Phillies sweep NL Central-leading Brewers

Castellanos comes up huge once again as Phillies sweep NL Central-leading Brewers originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

The weather is heating up and so is Nick Castellanos.

After a walk-off double to give the Phillies the win Tuesday night, Nick Castellanos came up huge once again in the series finale against the Brewers.

A two-run home run in the bottom of the fifth inning was Castellanos’ fifth hit of the month. It was also the only offense needed to get the job done on Wednesday afternoon.

The Phillies wrapped up the three-game series against the Brewers with a 2-0 win, sweeping the NL Central leaders.

This marks the eighth series sweep for the Phillies and the first time the Brewers have been swept this season.

Sitting at 44-19, the Phillies have reached 25 games over .500 for just the 18th time in franchise history.

That should quiet down the “Phillies have an easy schedule, that’s why their record is good” crowd a few notches. Maybe more.

When asked about the team’s start through 63 games, Castellanos’ perspective was an optimal glimpse into the mentality the clubhouse has shared from Day 1 of the 2024 season.

“Coming from somebody that’s been on a lot of bad teams? Yes, I can definitely appreciate [being 25 games over .500],” he said. “Winning is so much fun, honestly. And it solves every problem in an organization, there’s no doubt about that. But the realist in me knows that there’s so much baseball left, and it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish.”

As far as an overview on his performance in the series against the Brewers?

“The team’s success is far greater than my own personal success,” he said. “So, thanks to my teammates and how good they’ve been playing, it’s been easy to kind of keep me focused on the things that are important.

“Today was a good day. The next game, nothing is really guaranteed, right? So I feel good, my work’s been good, keep my head clear and just stay rolling. That’s it.”

The Phillies got another gem from their starting pitching, with Aaron Nola going seven scoreless. He allowed just two hits, no runs, no walks and punched out five. His ERA has now dropped to 2.77.

Nola earned his eighth win of the season and 98th of his career. He has tied Al Orth for the ninth most wins in Phillies franchise history.

While Nola was sharp, the Phillies’ defense has been spectacular through the six-game homestand.

“It’s been awesome,” Nola said on the defense following the win. “The guys have been studs out there – infield, outfield, behind the dish. I mean, what a series on defense. This series is pretty awesome, especially when you got guys in that other dugout that are really fast, that cause havoc on the bases and that’s a lot of their game.”

In the third inning, Gary Sanchez lined out to Bryson Stott, who made yet another highlight-worthy leaping catch.

Cristian Pache, who started in center for Johan Rojas, made a diving catch to end the fourth inning.

And Alec Bohm, who has been electric in the infield since his two-error game against the Rockies just over a week ago, threw William Contreras out at home on a fielder’s choice to keep the Brewers off the board.

“It was just a great series, from the pitching side and from the defensive side,” said manager Rob Thomson. “Played great defense the whole three games, so it’s good to see. You gotta win games like that.”

They wrap up the homestand 5-1. With a Braves loss earlier today against the Red Sox, the Phillies are now eight games up in the NL East.

The Phillies will have the rare two consecutive days off ahead of their London Series against the Mets. As of now, all signs point to Ranger Suarez (9-1, 1.70 ERA) making his scheduled start on Saturday. He’ll go up against Sean Manaea (3-2, 3.63 ERA).

On Sunday, it will be Taijuan Walker (3-1, 5.73 ERA) for the Phils and Jose Quintana (1-5, 5.17 ERA) for the Mets.

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