Garrett Stubbs helps Phillies avoid no-hitter in blowout loss to Astros

Philadelphia Phillies catcher Garrett Stubbs (Troy Taormina/USA TODAY Sports)
Philadelphia Phillies catcher Garrett Stubbs (Troy Taormina/USA TODAY Sports) /

Just one day after their postseason clincher, the Phillies were nearly no-hit.

The last two days for the Philadelphia Phillies were polar opposites. After shutting out the Houston Astros to clinch a National League Wild Card spot, the Phillies nearly found themselves on the wrong side of history Tuesday night in their 10-0 defeat.

The Astros nearly threw a combined no-hitter for the second time of 2022. However, former Astro Garrett Stubbs hit a single off of Will Smith in the top of the ninth inning to prevent disaster. Astros pitching was highlighted by Cy Young contender Justin Verlander — and even former Phillies reliever Hector Neris. The Phillies were no-hit by five New York Mets pitchers earlier this season.

The Phillies had been no-hit 20 times before Tuesday’s matchup — tied for the all-time lead. If the Astros completed the feat, that would have make the Phillies the most no-hit team in MLB history — not exactly an accomplishment that one would boast.

It was an ugly showing for Rob Thomson’s team following a night of celebration. The Astros cooked up 10 runs on 17 hits — the majority coming off Game 3 Wild Card Series starting pitcher Ranger Suarez. Practically nothing went right for the Phillies.

The performance does not mean anything in the long run, but it is not promising to see zeroes spread across the boxscore, days before their first postseason game. The top of the ninth inning included three consecutive singles to start, but then it was followed by three consecutive strikeouts.

The best way to describe the result of the game is that it was nothing more than a “hangover.” Several starters were given a day off to rest for the upcoming weekend.

With the loss, the Phillies clinched the No. 6 seed in the postseason bracket. This means they will now face off against the division leader with the worst record — which happens to be the St. Louis Cardinals. Behind southpaw Bailey Falter, the Phils’ final regular season game will take place late Wednesday afternoon against Framber Valdez.

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