The Philadelphia Phillies (25-19) were in dire need of a bounce-back game and looked to rookie left-hander Cole Irvin, who was coming off a Mother’s Day victory. Irvin once again picked up the win as the Phillies held off the Colorado Rockies (20-23) by a 5-4 score on Friday night at Citizens Bank Park.
Irvin experienced some trouble in the second inning of his second career start. After walking Raimel Tapia, the southpaw committed a throwing error on a grounder by Ian Desmond, putting two men on base for Colorado. Tapia came home on a fielder’s choice, putting the Rockies in front by a 1-0 score. Later in the inning, Irvin would commit his second error of the game. Fortunately, no runs would come of it.
The Rockies would pad their early lead when Phillies-killer Charlie Blackmon led off the top of the third inning with a double. Three batters later, Mark Reynolds ripped a double of his own, driving in Blackmon and making it a 2-0 Colorado lead.
With two outs in the home 3rd inning, Irvin worked a 10-pitch at-bat against Rockies starter Jon Gray. The plate appearance included four foul balls after the count had reached 2-2, and ended with Irvin working a walk. It would prove a huge moment when Andrew McCutchen immediately followed with a two-run home run to left field, tying the game at two runs apiece. It was McCutchen’s sixth home run of the season, his first since April 27.
Step 1: Pitcher Cole Irvin works a 2-out, 10-pitch walk in his first MLB plate appearance.
Step 2: Andrew McCutchen blasts a 2-R HR to left.
That's how you tie a game, folks. pic.twitter.com/RQYSnyDdFQ
— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) May 18, 2019
The Phillies were able to take the lead in the bottom of the fourth. With two outs, J.T. Realmuto slashed a double to right field. Cesar Hernandez followed that up with a double of his own, scoring Realmuto and giving the Phillies a 3-2 edge.
Things only got better in the bottom of the fifth for the Phillies, who once again struck with two outs. McCutchen drew a walk. Jean Segura then singled, bringing the struggling Bryce Harper to the plate with two men on. Harper made the most of this opportunity, slamming a double to center field that brough home McCutchen and Segura, upping the Phillies lead to 5-2.
The score wouldn’t stay that way for long. Irvin once again ran into trouble in the sixth inning. After allowing a leadoff hit to Nolan Arenado, the rookie allowed a two-run long ball to Ian Desmond. That cut the Phillies’ lead to just a single run at 5-4.
— AT&T SportsNet™ | RM (@ATTSportsNetRM) May 18, 2019
The trio of Jose Alvarez, Pat Neshek, and Hector Neris were each called to the mound by manager Gabe Kapler. Each delivered a shutout frame to stymie the Rockies over the last three innings, sealing the Phillies victory.
Shibe Vintage Sports Pitching Performance
- Jon Gray struggled mightily against the Phillies. In 4.2 innings, Gray gave up five runs, all earned. In addition, he gave up five hits and three walks. He did, however, strike out eight batters.
- Cole Irvin faced a tougher offense in his second career start. The rookie pitcher still worked 6.0 innings, giving up four runs (three earned), five hits, and one walk while striking out two. Irvin threw 84 total pitches to raise his season and career record to 2-0.
Phillies Nuggets Player of the Game: ANDREW MCCUTCHEN
Harper deserves credit for driving in two runs, but McCutchen helped tie this game up with a two-run home run and shifted the momentum early. The home run was McCutchen’s only hit of the day, but he also had two walks.
- May 18, Citizens Bank Park
- 7:05 p.m. ET
- TV: NBC Sports Philadelphia
- Radio: SportsRadio 94 WIP, WTTM 1680 (Spanish)