Kyle Gibson flirts with no person as rampaging Phillies enhance to 10 video games over .500

On most nights, the narrative would be a five-run home run.

But not on this one.

Rhys Hoskins, Nick Castellanos and Darick Hall went deep in the first inning, and JT Realmuto and Kyle Schwarber joined the power party later.

But Kyle Gibson stole the show on Friday night.

The 34-year-old right-hander flirted with a no-hitter, leading the Phillies to a 7-2 victory over the lowly Washington Nationals at Citizens Bank Park.

Gibson pitched six innings of great baseball. He lost a perfect game bid when he struck out Victor Robles in the seventh. He then gave up a groundout to Luis Garcia to lose the no-hitter.

The night was still pretty special for Gibson. He went a season-high eight innings and gave up just two hits and a run.

A great performance definitely added a little extra value to Gibson. He missed an earlier start to attend the funeral of his grandmother, who died last week.

Gibson’s gem and the Phillies’ dramatic display of power helped make the night the latest reminder that these Phillies might have something special. From June 1 its 37-19. (The Atlanta Braves and Los Angeles Dodgers are the only teams with better records since then.) The Phils have gone from a sinking ship to a playoff contender and currently hold the third and final NL wild-card spot.

Friday night’s win was the Phillies’ eighth in their last nine games and moved them to a season-best 10 games over .500 at 58-48.

The Phillies were 22-29 when Rob Thomson took over for Joe Girardi as manager on June 3rd. Thomson’s first order of business was to meet with the team and tell the players to just focus on .500. Once they get there, the focus would be five games over .500, and once they get there, 10 games over .500.

Now they are there.

And Thomson becomes a candidate for National League Manager of the Year.

The Phillies have won 16 of their last 18 games against the Nationals in 2021. July. That includes eight wins in 10 meetings this season. The Phils still have nine games to play against the Nats this season, and a sweep against them would greatly improve the Phils’ playoff chances.

Gibson got plenty of support in the early run as the Phils hit the first three homers against Washington’s Josiah Gray. Hoskins and Hall had solo shots, and a resurgent Nick Castellanos followed with two 3-pointers for Realmuto’s 3-pointer, his second in three games. Realmuto hit a two-run home run in the third inning before Schwarber hit his NL-leading 34th in the seventh.

In addition to the run support, Gibson got great defense from third baseman Alec Bohm, who kept the hit intact by diving and throwing across the diamond to end the sixth.

After this play, it’s time to look up some Phillies trivia, just in case. The Phils have had 13 no-hitters in franchise history. Cole Hamels last played in 2015. on July 25, which was his last start for the club.

Gibson didn’t join the no-hit club, but he certainly had a night to remember. A crowd of 22,024 gave him a standing ovation after Garcia’s home run in the seventh.

On a particularly humid night, Gibson tired in the eighth, struck out the second batter and allowed a second strikeout and a sacrifice fly. He struck out Robles to end the inning and slammed his glove in triumph as he walked off the mound.

Brad Hand allowed a run in the ninth to close out the win.

Ranger Suarez and Patrick Corbin will square off in a battle of lefties on Saturday night.

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