Philadelphia Baseball Review - Phillies News, Rumors and Analysis
J.T. Realmuto
Right-hander Noah Syndergaard made his second start with the Phillies on Wednesday, surrendering two runs on six hits over six innings. It was his deepest outing since June 27 while with the Angels. 

Things didn't look too good for the Phils for the first seven innings as Sandy Alcantara limited the Phillies to just two hits, but the offense put up a four-spot in the eighth en route to a 4-3 victory at Citizens Bank Park. 

Kyle Schwarber drove in a pair of runs on three hits and stole a base, and J.T. Realmuto drove in the winning run with a single to left field in the eighth. 

It was the type of win that elite teams piece together. 

“These are playoff games,” Realmuto said. “We’re going to face pitchers like that every night once we get to the playoffs. So we just have to do what we do -- like I say, grind out our at-bats. It’s not always going to be easy when you’re facing good pitchers like that, but our [pitchers] are going to keep us in the game, and we’ve just got to grind it out." 

Syndergaard tossed five innings in his Philadelphia debut last week against the Nationals in a contest shortened by rain, yielding four runs on 11 hits. The Texas native is sporting a 4.91 ERA while scattering 17 hits over 11 innings on the bump since joining the Phillies at the trade deadline. He relied on sliders and sinkers on Wednesday, moving away from his four-seam fastball and changeup. 

“Caleb and I got to work a lot between starts this time and made quite a bit of adjustments, especially on my slider and my delivery,” said Syndergaard. 

The victory extended the Phillies winning streak to seven games and a 40-19 record under interim skipper Rob Thomson. 

The Phillies and Marlins wrap up their series with an afternoon game on Thursday. Righty Kyle Gibson (7-4, 4.36) will start for the Phils while the Fish counter with righty Edward Cabrera (2-1, 2.61). 

Battle in the Big Apple
The Phillies travel to Queens to open a three-game set with the division-leading Mets starting Friday. The two clubs will meet seven times over the ensuing 11 days. The Phillies have won just three of 12 head-to-head contests with the Mets this year and, entering Thursday, were positioned 10 games behind the NL East leaders. 

Though the division crown may be a stretch at this point, the Phillies currently hold the second Wild Card position with a one-game lead over San Diego while sitting two games ahead of Milwaukee.

Harper Update
Bryce Harper is hitting off a batting tee but hasn't regained the flexibility in his left thumb to face live pitching. The perennial All-Star had three pins removed from his surgically repaired thumb on Aug. 1. 

Harper also is dealing with stiffness in his right shoulder after starting a throwing program to test the torn ulnar collateral ligament in his elbow. 

Given these two setbacks, Harper isn't ready to put a definitive timetable on his return. 

"September-ish," he said last week. 

Thomson indicated when Harper does return, he'll likely do so exclusively as a designated hitter. 

Harper has been out of the lineup since July 26 with a fractured left thumb.

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Philadelphia Baseball Review - Phillies News, Rumors and Analysis