3 Things We Learned Inside the Philadelphia Phillies Clubhouse This Weekend

From injury updates to timely advice at the plate, catch up on what you need to know about the Philadelphia Phillies from their trip to Denver.

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - MAY 21: Brandon Marsh #16 of the Philadelphia Phillies reacts after catching a fly ball during the eighth inning against the Texas Rangers at Citizens Bank Park on May 21, 2024 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

DENVER — The red-hot Philadelphia Phillies rolled into the Mile High City and found their bats went quiet at altitude.

After an extra-inning stumble to kick off the six-game road trip through Colorado and San Francisco, Philadelphia roared back with a six-run ninth inning to take Saturday’s contest before dropping a 5-2 decision on Sunday. The pair of defeats equated to Philadelphia’s first series loss since early April and snapped a streak of 15 consecutive series with a Phillies win or tie.

“Just a little bit weird, right? You come in here and you think because of the thin air you’re going to score a bunch of runs and hit home runs,” Phillies manager Rob Thomson said after Sunday’s loss. “It’s just one of those days.”

Philadelphia, in fact, had one big outburst the entire series, that being the six-run explosion where the team batted around in the ninth on Saturday night to stun the Colorado Rockies. Outside of that, Philadelphia scored a combined six runs in other 28 innings.

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Still, despite the series loss to the Rockies, Philadelphia holds the best record in the National League (38-16) heading into Memorial Day.

While much of the focus will be on what went wrong for the Phillies in Denver, I spent plenty of time in the Philadelphia clubhouse during their lone trip of the year to the Mile High City and heard some other tidbits. Here are three things that stood out to me.

Bryce Harper’s advice was key

Philadelphia’s six-run rally on Saturday night was kicked off by Brandon Marsh drawing a walk against Colorado reliever Jalen Beeks. While Marsh’s walk rate of 10.2 percent on the season is above league average (9.9 percent) and ranks fourth on the Phillies this season, his focused eye at the plate in a key at-bat was helped by some advice from Bryce Harper.

Harper, who praised Philadelphia’s depth before the series began, had faced Beeks in the top of the eighth, striking out on a foul tip. However, Harper pulled Marsh aside and told him he believed none of the pitches he had faced in the five-pitch at-bat were strikes.

“Harper and I are completely different hitters, but I knew after that I wanted to see one in the zone before I went in and grinded out an at-bat,” Marsh said. “Thankfully, I got to 3-0 and let the next pitch go past before he walked me.”

Marsh said he was glad to start a rally where the Phillies once again flexed their collective muscles. It was the fourth time this season Philadelphia has entered the ninth inning trailing, before winning the game, and that tied for the most in MLB heading into Sunday’s action.

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“It’s the Fightin’ Phils for a reason,” Marsh said. “I don’t feel like we’re ever out of a game.”

Trea Turner suffers setback

With the All-Star shortstop on the injured list since May 4 with a left hamstring strain, there has been hope that Turner would work his way back into the starting lineup in early June. However, Phillies manager Rob Thomson said on Sunday that Turner’s efforts to rehab had hit a bump in Denver.

“He’s a little sore today. A little stiff,” Thomson said after Turner had tested his hamstring with more intense running. “We’re going to pull back a little bit. How long? I’m not really concerned at this point but we’ll give it a couple of days I’m sure.”

Thomson said that the timeline for Turner’s return had been altered and that he likely would not be running the bases in San Francisco as originally planned.

The only silver lining in Turner’s absence has been the play of Edmundo Sosa. Since Turner first went on the injured list, Sosa had (entering Sunday) started 16 games at shortstop and slashed .354/.446/.688 while not committing an error.

“He’s having great at-bats and playing great defensively,” Thomson said of Sosa. “He’s stepped up.”

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Will Nick Castellanos heat up soon?

After slashing .153/.218/.153 with no extra-base hits in the first 20 games of the season, Nick Castellanos has been turning things around at the plate, eight extra-base hits over his next 21 games, posting a .259/.326/.469 slash line.

Those numbers include a solo home run on Friday in Colorado. That, however, was one of the few highlights for the 32-year-old Castellanos, who went 2-for-14 while in Denver.

“I was talking to Kevin Long (Phillies hitting coach) and he said he feels like he (Castellanos) has his swing back,” Thomson said. “He’s staying balanced. He’s not chasing as much. Over the last week or 10 days, he’s been really good so hopefully that continues.

“Right now, he’s put together some pretty good at-bats for a week, so I’m pretty confident that Kevin is right. When he uses the other side of the field, meaning left center over, he’s usually in a pretty good spot.”