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MLB Wild Cards: JT Realmuto, Kyle Gibson lead Phillies to six-game winning streak

Phillies attack Buccaneers again, winning 18 of last 20 while losing team originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

The Phillies continue to slam the basement dwellers and choke them early, leaving the weakest team in the National League with little chance of coming back.

This bodes well for 13 straight games against sub -.500 clubs.

Like Friday night and all week, the Phillies had a relatively easy win on the early offense. They made a three in the first inning of JT Realmuto’s batting double and went 6-0 from there, their sixth straight game.

The Phils outscored their opponents by 22 in the first three innings of those six games, -1. Buried in the standings.

“This year, we’ve come into a mentality that’s clearer and more dominant than in the past. It’s easy to get lazy or complacent when you’re playing against these teams. Especially lately, we’re in Play well against these teams and take an early lead and really set the tone for the game.

You lose 100 games, any time you give up early, It was like, ‘Here we are again. I think some of the teams we’ve been on have had that feeling. That’s what you want as a playoff team. You want them to be in that mood, and come to them Say, it’s hard to come back. That’s the biggest difference.”

For the past five weeks, Realmuto has been one of the best hitters in baseball. He has played 26 of his last 27 games and is fourth in the majors behind Paul Goldschmidt, Aaron Judge and Pete Alonso.

Realmuto has an extra base hit and/or an eight-game RBI in a row, and the chances of Bryce Harper hitting back in front of him should persist. Harper, in his second game after hurting his left thumb, singled in the first inning, as he did on Friday. It loads the base for Realmuto. Harper later walked on purpose twice.

“Since I’ve been here, we’ve almost downplayed our competition at times,” Realmuto said. “For me, it made a big difference in our season. The team we were supposed to deal with, we played well all season.”

Phillies out Card game opens up a nice buffer. They are second out of three wild-card spots, 2½ games ahead of the Padres and 5 games ahead of the Brewers.

There are a lot of really bad teams that have swept baseball this season, and since the All-Star Game was swept by the Cubs, the Phillies are 18-2 against the record-breaking club .

The Phillies have had five different streaks of at least five games since June 1. At 72-55, their .500 is well above where they’ve been since the last day of the 2011 season, and they haven’t had so many hitters at the same time in a long time.

The Phillies are 23-9 in their last 32 games. Nick Castellanos, Alec Bohm and Realmuto all shot between .323 and .333 in that span. Bryson Stott’s pop hit 0.295. Jean Segura hasn’t been back, but he’s hitting .344 with a .427 hit rate in his last 19 games. He is now an 8-hole hitter.

Remember when Kyle Schwaber was on the offense with the Phillies from June 1st to mid-July? Schwaber hit a home run the past three weeks to give the Phils a 14-7 lead. They faced poor pitching and a shoddy defense, but they were looking for ways to score even if their home run hitters didn’t go deep.

Gibson won in his 25th start, improving to 9-5 with a 4.08 ERA. In one of his best starts of the year, he struck out nine innings without scoring.

Phils is looking to sweep the Pirates’ seven-game season series against Noah Syndergaard on Sunday afternoon. The Phillies have won all four of their starts.

“It might be a little early to start thinking about it on Sept. 1, but it’s easier to think about when you’re sitting in a playoff berth,” Gibson said. “You try to fight those thoughts until you can grab and get to that point, but it’s definitely something you think about.”

Thirty-five games left.

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