Phillies left-hander Bailey Falter an unsung hero during Wild Card push

Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Bailey Falter (Jim Rassol/USA TODAY Sports)
Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Bailey Falter (Jim Rassol/USA TODAY Sports) /

Phillies left-hander Bailey Falter is among the team’s MVPs this season.

The Philadelphia Phillies would not have as big of a multi-game cushion for one of the National League’s three Wild Card spots, had it not been for left-handed starting pitcher Bailey Falter.

Promoted and demoted several times this season — as evidenced in the transaction section of the 25-year-old’s profile — Falter has been one of the team’s best starting pitchers as of late.

In his past five starts, Falter has gone a perfect 5-0 with an impressive 2.43 ERA, 22 strikeouts, and two walks spanning 29 2/3 innings pitched. Over this stretch, opposing batters are slashing just .209/.237/.336 against the California native.

Overall, the Phillies are 12-4 in the 16 games Falter has appeared in this season. His 3.80 ERA in 68 2/3 innings has been invaluable — especially for a team that has collapsed in the latter stages of recent seasons.

The 2022 Phillies are just a different breed. Facing National League Cy Young contender Sandy Alcántara six times this season, they have won four of the contests. Tuesday’s 2-1 victory opposite the right-hander would not have been possible without Falter’s six-inning, one-run effort, as well as Nick Maton’s late two-run, go-ahead home run.

With Falter’s repertoire of a fastball with plus command, complemented with a mix of curveballs, he should remain in the rotation even when Zack Wheeler makes his expected return from the injured list in the coming days.

Ranger Suarez was previously thought to be the perfect Game 3 starter for the Phillies in a potential Wild Card series. However, Falter’s recent performance will have fans second-guessing.

The Rob Thomson-led squad will first need to continue their strong recent play across the team’s remaining 21 games. Fifteen of those contests will be on the road, including the final 10 games overall in the regular season — opposite the Chicago Cubs, Washington Nationals, and Houston Astros.

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