2019 Postgame Recaps

Harper’s first career five-hit game is wasted, Phillies lose on walk-off



Bryce Harper posted five hits in a game for the first time in his career Friday. (Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire)

Final in 12 innings: Rockies 4, Phillies 3

The Philadelphia Phillies left 19 runners on-base in their game against the Colorado Rockies Friday evening, and were just 1-16 with runners in scoring position. So, as you can guess, they weren’t able to defeat a team that has reached the postseason in consecutive seasons.

The Rockies, uncharacteristically, struggled to make what would have amounted to two Web Gem caliber plays in the top of the first inning, which allowed the Phillies to take an early lead.

With Andrew McCutchen on first base and one out, Bryce Harper smashed a ball off the glove of shortstop Trevor Story – who was on the right side of the infield as part of a defensive overshift. Though it was ultimately scored a hit, it’s a play that Story normally makes, and it allowed McCutchen to advance to third base.

Rhys Hoskins – who entered the evening with zero hits in his last 11 at-bats – followed suit by lining a ball in between Story and six-time Gold Glove Award winner Nolan Arenado. Arenado, perhaps the best defensive player at any position in baseball, got his glove on the ball, but only enough to allow it to ricochet into the outfield. McCutchen trotted home, giving the Phillies an early 1-0 lead.

Through the first four innings of Friday night’s game, the Phillies left seven runners on base. That trend became a theme for the night, but it took a respite in the top of the fifth inning – sort of – when J.T. Realmuto drove a ball to the left field warning track. Though Realmuto just missed his second home run in as many days, he hit the ball more than deep enough for Bryce Harper – who singled in his first three at-bats Friday – to score from third base.

Even after Realmuto’s RBI, the Phillies did leave two more runners on base, essentially leaving the door cracked open for a Rockies lineup that, on paper, should be good.

The Rockies were able to erase the Phillies lead in the home half of the sixth inning, starting with a Trevor Story home run:

Story’s home run was estimated to have traveled 459 feet, which would make it one of the 10 longest home runs in 2019, per Statcast.

After the sixth inning was extended by what, upon further review, was an Ian Desmond double, Garrett Hampson flared a double into left field to tie the game:

The Phillies bullpen, luckily for the offense, pitched 5.1 scoreless (and hitless) innings ahead of the 12th inning Friday night. That allowed the Phillies the luxury of leaving a bunch of runners in scoring position, and still having a chance to win the game.

And in the top of the 12th inning, Bryce Harper stepped to the plate, following a single from Phil Gosselin. With the outfield shifted in the direction of right field, Harper laced a double into a bunch of space in left-center field, which allowed Gosselin to score what appeared to be the winning run all the way from first base.

Unfortunately for the Phillies, Juan Nicasio wasn’t able to nail down a save in his second inning of relief work, with Charlie Blackmon hitting a two-out walkoff home run in the bottom of the 12th:

Shibe Vintage Sports Starting Pitching Performance

German Marquez allowed just three hits over seven shutout innings when he squared off with the Philadelphia Phillies at Coors Field last September. Marquez, who has one of the best pitching repertoires in the league, wasn’t particularly effective Friday night in the follow-up performance.

Marquez, 24, lasted just five innings. He did only allow two runs, but the Phillies posted 10 hits over just five frames. Marquez did strand nine runners on base, though it’s fair to wonder how much credit he should get for that. Having Nolan Arenado in the field behind him obviously didn’t hurt Marquez, and when you leave nine runners on base, that reflects more on a lack of timely hitting offensively.

Vince Velasquez, meanwhile, allowed two runs on seven hits over five-and-two-thirds innings Friday. The 24-year-old – who, at times, can be frustrating because of the talent he clearly possess – stranded a Rockie at third base in each of the first three innings of the game. While it’s fair to ask how sustainable pitching on the edge is, Velasquez entered the season as the Phillies No. 5 starter and has a 2.55 ERA after a relief appearance and three starts. He also hit 97 on the radar gun multiple times tonight, a sign that he’s no longer trying to save his best stuff, but just throwing as hard as he can for as long as he can.

The Injury Bug Keeps Biting

If you’re having trouble keeping track of the injuries to Phillies position players this week, you’re not alone.

Jean Segura left Tuesday’s game against the New York Mets with a hamstring injury, and has been day-to-day since. A day later, Odubel Herrera suffered a worse hamstring injury, which forced the Phillies to place him on the 10-day injured list and recall Roman Quinn, who has dealt with a long list of injuries over the course of his young career.

Super-utility man Scott Kingery, who had been manning shortstop in Segura’s absence, left Friday’s game after injuring himself running to first base in the top of the fourth inning. The Phillies called the injury a right hamstring strain, which is obviously a disappointing development for Kingery, who is hitting over .400 after a disappointing rookie season.

Two innings before that, Andrew McCutchen grimaced after taking a swing, something that didn’t appear to mean much until he labored to second base in the top of the sixth inning and was removed from the game in favor of Aaron Altherr. The Phillies called the injury “left knee inflammation.”

One would think the Phillies will make a roster move before tomorrow’s evening’s game, though that’s just speculation that will depend on the severity of the two injuries and how close the Phillies think Segura is to returning.

Phillies Nuggets Player of the Game: Bryce Harper

Friday’s edition of the Locked On Phillies podcast, hosted by yours truly, was focused on how Bryce Harper and Rhys Hoskins both had gone into slumps at the same time. Harper, who is definitely a listener, responded to that by turning in a five-hit evening. Not only was this the first five-hit game of Harper’s career, but per Devan Fink of FanGraphs, it was the first four-hit game that Harper has had since July 18, 2017.

Next Game

  • Saturday April 20 at 8:10 p.m. at Coors Field
  • NBC Sports Philadelphia 
  • SportsRadio 94 WIP

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