Bryson Stott arrives in force to help Phillies defeat Cubs

Bryson Stott arrives in force to help Phillies defeat Cubs

Bryson Stott was out of his usual spot at second base for the Phillies when Sunday’s game against the Cubs at Citizens Bank Park began. He wasn’t surprised either. Like most managers, Rob Thomson gives his players ample notice when they will or will not be in the lineup.

Stott did not have the day off, however. In the seventh inning, he was called in to hit Josh Harrison with one out and Edmundo Sosa at second base. It didn’t catch him off guard either. Again, bench players are always notified when they might be needed.

But what Stott did next for a struggling team in clutch situations recently landed like a thunderbolt. He drilled a 1-2 pitch from Cubs reliever Adbert Alzolay into the right field seats, bringing the sold-out crowd to his feet. It was the first home run of his career.

It was the only hit with a runner in scoring position that the Phillies got all afternoon. That was all they needed to beat the Cubs, 2-1, and clinch the series with their second straight win.

“You never know what’s going to happen in a game, when you’re going to come in and so on,” Stott said. “Just kind of stay ready in the cage. Probably every other round I was taking live BP (trainer Jason Camilli) and flips and stuff like that. I just try to stay as prepared as possible.

Even with that, and even with a dozen runs scored on Saturday, the Phillies are still 7 for 61 (.115) with runners in scoring position in their last seven games.

Said Thomson: “All these guys, we’re telling them what’s going on. We give them plenty of time. (Camilli) is in the cage and he prepares them. He does a great job with that. Talks about approach and what they throw, speeds and things like that.

Stott is 21 of 61 (.344) with two strikes against him this year. He said the key is not to expand your strike zone.

Sitting Stott wasn’t the only roster change Thomson made on Sunday. Center Brandon Marsh was also absent from the roster, although he entered the game as a pinch runner and defensive backup in the eighth.

Stott and Marsh could also sit Monday night against the Diamondbacks against left starter Tommy Henry as Thomson balances the production he can get from the two left-handed starters against the need to get right-handed bench players Josh Harrison and Dalton Guthrie a few appearances on set.

Slumping Trea Turner has debuted for only the third time since April 11. He doubled today and is now batting .200 in his last 26 games with 37 strikeouts in 110 strikeouts.

Receiver JT Realmuto, meanwhile, started his seventh game in a row. Thomson didn’t entirely dismiss the idea that with speed-up rules leading to faster games, catchers might be able to get by on fewer days off than in previous years.

“It’s interesting because he (Realmuto) has mentioned that he feels much fresher since the clock was put on,” Thomson said. “So maybe there’s something to it.” Now everyone is a one-knee guy too, which takes a lot of the pressure off your legs and eliminates a lot of fatigue. Just being able to kneel all the time.

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