Unfortunately, the team was unable to capitalize on that momentum, dropping a 4-3 decision on Sunday afternoon to the Cincinnati Reds (29-35) at Citizens Bank Park.
The Reds jumped onto the scoreboard first after a few odd bounces went their way in the top of the 2nd inning. Derek Dietrich led it off with an infield single that deflected off the glove of Cesar Hernandez. One out later, Jose Iglesias dropped a short single into right field, with Dietrich rolling around to 3rd base.
The odd bounces would then even up and switch the Phillies way. In the bottom of the 4th inning, Rhys Hoskins came up to bat with the bases loaded and two away, and launched a pop up into the sun behind first base. Both Joey Votto and Dietrich lost sight of the ball, and it dropped to the infield grass.
Franco scored to tie the game, and Bryce Harper raced home as well, appearing to slide in just ahead of the throw home. After a challenge from the home dugout and umpire review, it was determined that Harper just got under Curt Casali’s tag. This time, the weirdness of baseball benefited the Phillies:
Bryce with the hustle (and the takedown).
— Phillies Nation (@PhilliesNation) June 9, 2019
In the 5th inning, the Phillies added to their lead. Cesar Hernandez got the inning started by grinding out a seven-pitch at-bat for a one-out walk, then promptly stole second base. Harper followed up by grounding a single, then took second base on the throw back to the infield.
That put runners at second and third for three-hole hitter Jean Segura, who smacked a fly ball to deep right to score Hernandez and bring Hoskins up to the plate. Hoskins was never able to finish his at-bat. On a 2-2 pitch, Harper decided to attempt a steal of home. This time, Harper’s aggressiveness didn’t work, and the inning ended abruptly with the Phillies on top by a 3-1 score.
Bryce Harper tried to steal home on the right-handed Sonny Gray.
It didn't work out well for Harper.pic.twitter.com/Lw0oFMC1UU
— CBS Sports HQ (@CBSSportsHQ) June 9, 2019
Phillies starting pitcher Aaron Nola was cruising through most of the game, allowing just three singles and two walks, one of those intentional, through the first six innings. But things did not come so easy for him in the top of the 7th inning.
After retiring the first two Reds batters, Nola gave up an infield hit to catcher Curt Casali and then walked pinch-hitter Josh VanMeter on four pitches. With his starter at 104 pitches on a warm afternoon, Phillies skipper Gabe Kapler opted to go to his bullpen at that point.
Jose Alvarez was brought in, and after just four pitches from the left-hander, the Reds had tied the ball game. First, Nick Senzel singled past short to load the bases. Votto then dropped a two-run single into center field, scoring Casali and VanMeter to tie it up.
That prompted Kapler to again reach in to his bullpen, this time for Vince Velasquez in a double-switch that also saw Nick Williams take over left field from Jay Bruce. Again, the move failed. The first batter to face Velasquez, third baseman Eugenio Suarez, singled to left. Sinzel raced home with the go-ahead run, and Cincy was back on top by a 4-3 score.
The bullpen was unable to hold the lead for Nola.
— Phillies Nation (@PhilliesNation) June 9, 2019
After Segura’s sacrifice fly in the home 5th inning, the Phillies offense went silent. The lineup went hitless from that point until J.T. Realmuto singled with one out in the 9th inning. But Reds closer Raisel Iglesias got pinch-hitter Phil Gosselin on a fly ball to right, and then retired Scott Kingery on a pop to Votto at first to end it.
Despite the loss, the Phillies took the weekend series, winning two of three games. They will now welcome in the Arizona Diamondbacks for a three-game set beginning on Monday night in South Philly.
Shibe Vintage Sports Starting Pitching Performance
With the exception of a few shaky innings where he lost command, Nola was solid. After a quick 1st inning, the Phillies right-hander began finding himself in too many full counts and was lucky enough to escape the 2nd inning giving up only one run.
Nola was then able to strike out the side in the 3rd and left the game with seven strikeouts, lowering his ERA to the 4.58 mark. Overall, starting pitching made the difference for the Phillies in this weekend series. Eflin, Pivetta, and Nola combined for 22 innings pitched and five earned runs. Two of those came after Nola was charged for the two who eventually scored in the 7th inning today while Alvarez was on the mound.
Phillies Nuggets Player of the Game: JOEY VOTTO
The career .307 hitter against the Phillies was at it again. He had only one hit in the game, but he made that hit count as his seventh inning line drive single tied the game for the Reds. Votto will leave Philadelphia with five hits in three games and his reputation as a Phillie-killer still well in tact.
Ticket IQ Next Game
- June 10th at 7:05 vs. Arizona Diamondbacks at Citizens Bank Park
- TV: NBC Sports Philadelphia
- Radio: SportsRadio 94 WIP; WTTM 1680 (Spanish)