Ben Lively did what few Phillies pitchers could do this season in his major league debut. He pitched seven innings, giving up only one run on four hits.
Lively was recalled to take Vince Velasquez’s spot in the rotation after he was put on the disabled list with a right elbow strain. The Phils recalled Lively twice so far this season for extra insurance but he wasn’t needed. Once Zach Eflin was sent back down to AAA, it was only a matter of time before Lively joined the rotation.
What was most impressive in his debut was his ability to get out of jams. He ran into trouble in the top of the fifth after back-to-back walks, including one to pitcher Johnny Cueto, but got out of it unscathed. Lively walked the first batter of the sixth and then fell behind to Buster Posey but was able to force the double play. After a leadoff hit in the top of the seventh, Orlando Calixte popped up followed by another double play.
To top off his debut, he knocked his first career hit in the bottom of the fifth. Lively won 18 games last year for Lehigh Valley and was 6-1 with a 2.40 ERA before being called up.
The Phillies’ bats finally came alive in the sixth after 16 scoreless innings when Tommy Joseph tied the game with a solo shot. The Phils took a 2-1 lead in the seventh after back-to-back-to-back hits by Maikel Franco, Michael Saunders, and Freddy Galvis. Odubel Herrera blew the game open with a bases clearing double to give the Phillies a 5-1 lead. Hector Neris made it scary in ninth, getting pulled after giving up two runs. Jeanmar Gomez earned his first save since Opening Day.
Phils look to win their first series since April 27 tomorrow with Jeremy Hellickson on the mound.