The bottom of the order shows its depth
While so much attention was paid to the Phillies' big-name superstars coming into the postseason, the lineup showed its depth with contributions from up and down the order. Every starter in the Philadelphia lineup got at least one hit in the seemingly constant offensive onslaught.
But it wasn't the bats you'd expect that did the damage. Yes, Kyle Schwarber, Trea Turner and Bryce Harper all had their moments, combining for four of the team's 11 hits. Turner got on base three times and swiped a pair of bags to stay perfect on the year, and Harper scored the big fourth run blowing through the stop sign at third. It wasn't the household names at the top of the order that got the job done as those three didn't register a single RBI.
Batting sixth, Nick Castellanos drove in a run, as did Bryson Stott and Cristian Pache. The only batter in the top half of the lineup to push one across the plate was Alec Bohm in the three-hole. His clutch two-out double in the bottom of the third that opened the scoring was only made possible by the impressive postseason debut at-bat of rookie Johan Rojas.
The 23-year-old rookie, who has all of 59 regular season MLB games under his belt, went toe-to-toe with Luzardo in an epic nine-pitch at-bat, which included four straight foul balls before collecting a base hit. To add to his impressive performance, he moved up to second on a ball in the dirt and scored easily on Bohm's double.
Then there's Pache, inserted into the lineup by his manager for his right-handed bat. Heading into last night, Pache was 2-for-4 against the left-handed Luzardo. The move paid off. He came up big in his limited opportunities, cashing the 3-0 run in the fourth and finishing the night 1-for-2.
One of the more surprising statistical oddities from Tuesday's win is that none of the Phillies' 11 hits included a home run. Shocking for a team like the Phillies, who hit 220 long balls on the year and racked up the most homers over the last two months of the season with 107.
While hitting timely home runs in the playoffs is a proven way to find success, as this team showed last postseason, they found a way to win last night by keeping the line moving up and down the order and coming through with clutch hits when it mattered.
Even so, eventually the big boys will have to come through with a big hit at a big time, but for now, it's encouraging to see contributions from every spot in the lineup.
NEXT: The Marlins' best hitter is far from healthy