2019 Postgame Recaps

Braves crush 5 home runs, claim another series victory against Phillies


ATLANTA, GA – JULY 04: Atlanta Braves Second baseman Ozzie Albies (1) circles the bases after hitting a go ahead home run during the regular season MLB game between the Braves and Phillies on July 4, 2019 at SunTrust Park in Atlanta, GA. (Photo by David John Griffin/Icon Sportswire)

Final: Braves 12, Phillies 6

Saying fireworks were on display in a high-scoring baseball game on the Fourth of July may be a tired cliche, but it’s a cliche that held true today.

It looked as though the Philadelphia Phillies (45-42) were going to cruise to victory early on Thursday. The team batted around in the first, putting up a four spot against an All-Star pitcher. Then the Atlanta Braves (52-36) offense went to work and didn’t stop. Atlanta launched five home runs on their way to a Fourth of July victory against their bitter division rivals. For the first time this season, the Phillies find themselves in third place in the NL East.

It was pointed out in today’s Gameday preview that in order for the Phillies to have a chance, they had to get to Atlanta’s 21-year-old starting pitcher Mike Soroka quickly. The Phillies did just that with a four-run first inning. RBI singles from Bryce Harper, J.T. Realmuto and Cesar Hernandez combined to give the Phillies a much-needed 4-0 lead heading into the bottom half of the inning:

The Braves responded immediately.

An elongated at-bat was just the beginning for Zach Eflin in the first inning. Ronald Acuna Jr.’s first at-bat should have ended after the seventh pitch when a middle-of-the-plate fastball was called a ball. Instead, Eflin went on to throw five additional pitches, getting Acuna to strike out swinging for the first out. The next batter, Dansby Swanson, caught a fastball on the outside corner and drove the ball to right-center field for a solo home run:

Atlanta went on to add another with a Nick Markakis double that scored Freddie Freeman.

The Phillies four-run lead vanished completely in the bottom of the second. With one out and Ozzie Albies on second, Acuna smashed a sharp ground ball between Brad Miller at third and Segura at shortstop. Segura stopped the run from scoring initially with a diving grab, but an errant throw allowed Albies to score and the Braves to get within one. The next batter Swanson brought Acuna home with an RBI double, tying the game at four:

Atlanta added three more in the third with a three-run home run from Albies. The round-tripper was the Braves third three-run home run of the series. For the Phillies, Albies home-run was the 147th given up by the staff this season. To put that in perspective, the Colorado Rockies, the team with the second most home runs surrendered, have given up 127 homers.

Eflin was pulled after surrendering seven runs through three innings. His outing was plagued by long at-bats, elevated pitches and the long ball. He will have until after the All-Star Break to regroup and put this disastrous outing behind him.

Edgar Garcia came in relief for Eflin and things did not get much better after that. Back-to-back home runs from Freeman and Donaldson extended the lead to five:

After a shaky first inning where the Phillies batted around, Soroka settled in well. He kept the ball down in the zone and got the groundball outs he needed. He was pulled after 100 pitches in the fifth. His outing tonight will not go down as one of his best as far as stats go, but his ability to recoup after a shaky first inning as a young pitcher was impressive.

The Phillies offense finally responded in sixth. Sean Rodriguez was on to pinch-hit for relief pitcher Edgar Garcia and with a 1-1 count, Rodriguez got a hold of a hanging curveball, driving it to center and pulling the Phils to within four:

Another run was added on a Hoskins RBI double. The Phillies had an opportunity to get within one run with a two out base hit following the RBI, but the next batter Realmuto grounded out to the short stop Albies to end the inning.

A three-run home run from Swanson off newly recalled reliever Austin Davis had put the game out of reach for the Phillies. The team will fly north to New York to take on the Mets. The task will not get easier for the Phillies lineup as the Phils will face the reigning Cy Young Award winner Jacob DeGrom and Noah Syndergaard.

Shibe Vintage Sports Starting Pitching Performance 

Zach Eflin: 

3.0 IP 7H 7R 6ER 2BB 3Ks 74 pitches

Mike Soroka:

4.2 IP 9H 4R 4ER 2BB 6Ks 100 pitches

Phillies Nuggets Player of the Game: Ozzie Albies 

In the beginning of the year, Phillies fans touted Maikel Franco as the best eight-hole hitter in baseball. A couple months later, it looks like Ozzie Albies may be that guy. More than half the hitters in the Braves starting lineup could have earned the nod, but the 22-year-old’s three-run home run in the third was the crushing blow in tonight’s game. Albies is just one of many young, talented hitters in the Braves lineup that may haunt Phillies pitching for years.

Ticket IQ Next Game 

  • Friday July 5th, 7:10 @ New York Mets
  • NBC Sports PhiladelphiaFOX (out-of-market)
  • SportsRadio 94 WIP; WTTP 1680 (Spanish)

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