Philadelphia Baseball Review - Phillies News, Rumors and Analysis
Cristopher Sanchez
All-Star reliever Matt Strahm delivered a clutch performance on Wednesday night, striking out two-time MVP Shohei Ohtani with an 83 mph slider in the seventh inning to leave the tying runs stranded on base. 
 
The pivotal out preserved Philadelphia’s lead, helping the Phillies secure a 4-3 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers.
 
“He’s one of the greatest ever to pick up a bat,” Strahm told reporters. “It’s cool.”
 
Strahm entered the game with a two-run lead to protect. He started Ohtani with a first-pitch sinker for a called strike. Ohtani swung and missed at a slider, quickly falling behind 0-2. Strahm then threw a four-seam fastball just off the plate. Somehow, Ohtani held off, making it a 1-2 count.
 
Strahm delivered another nasty slider, and Ohtani swung awkwardly, nearly losing his helmet. The sellout crowd at Citizens Bank Park erupted.
 
“You’re obviously aware of who’s in the box,” Strahm said. “Again, the energy of these fans is unmatched.”
 
With another batter due up, Strahm had no time to fully savor the moment. He retired Teoscar Hernández on a flyball to escape the jam, pushing the Phillies toward their 60th win of the season.
 
The Phillies took the first two games of this three-game set in a showdown of National League division leaders. At 60-32, only the 1976 team (in 88 games) reached that mark faster in franchise history. 
 
Cristopher S├ínchez allowed two runs in six innings, rebounding from a rough start last week against the Cubs, when he gave up seven runs in four innings at Wrigley Field. 
 
Kyle Schwarber hit his eighth leadoff homer of the season, setting the tone for the victory. 
 
Jeff Hoffman, one of seven Phillies selected for the NL All-Star team, tossed a scoreless ninth inning for his ninth save.
 
Bryce Harper did not play because of a bruised left hand. He's listed as day-to-day.

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Philadelphia Baseball Review - Phillies News, Rumors and Analysis