2019 Postgame Recaps

Arrieta sharp, Harper delivers key hit, bullpen spectacular in win over Pirates


Jake Arrieta delivered a strong start, helping the Phillies to victory in their Friday night series opener vs the Pirates. (Nick Tre. Smith/Icon Sportswire)

After earning a crucial series split against the best team in baseball, the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Philadelphia Phillies (51-47) hopped on a quick flight across state late Thursday afternoon to take on the Pittsburgh Pirates (45-51) at PNC Park.

Once again, Bryce Harper would prove to be the hero. His seventh inning RBI single put the Phillies on top, and the club pulled away with four runs over the final two frames to earn a 6-1  victory in the opener of a three-game weekend set.

The Phillies threatened early on in the 1st, but were unable to capitalize with the bases loaded as J.T. Realmuto went down on strikes and César Hernández flew out. A couple innings later, the Pirates would strike first thanks to an RBI single from their eight-hole hitter, catcher Elias Diaz.

The Phillies would finally get off the schneid in the 5th inning thanks to Adam Haseley. The 23-year-old 2017 first round draft pick delivered his second career home-run in as many days, getting a hold of an 0-2 middle-of-the-plate fastball from Jordan Lyles and driving it out over the wall in center field.

On a night where the bats were slow to get going, Phillies starting pitcher Jake Arrieta shined. Despite pitching with a bone spur in his right elbow, the 2015 Cy Young winner struck out four hitters and pitched into the 6th inning, only giving up one run over 5.2 innings of work.

Phillies manager Gabe Kapler finally pulled Arrieta in the 6th with the bases loaded and two out. The skipper gave the ball to Juan Nicasio, who proceeded to retire hot young Pirates shortstop Kevin Newman on a soft grounder back to the pitcher’s mound.

The Phillies finally took advantage of a runners-in-scoring-position situation in the 7th. Just as he did on Tuesday night against the Dodgers, Harper was gifted a first-pitchm, middle-in fastball and drove it into center field for the game’s key hit, putting the Phillies on top by a 2-1 score.

The offense added an insurance run in the eighth thanks to a tremendous 13-pitch at-bat by Jean Segura. With two outs and the bases loaded, the shortstop fouled off nine pitches. He then hustled down the line to beat out a grounder, earning an RBI infield hit and stretching the Phillies lead to two runs.

The bullpen was spectacular in relief of Arrieta as Nicasio, Jose Alvarez and Cole Irvin combined to retire every batter they faced over the final 3.1 innings. Alvarez in particular has had quite an impressive month. The veteran lefty has not given up a run since the calendar turned to July.

The Phillies added on three more in the ninth to put the game away. An RBI infield hit from Maikel Franco, a wild pitch from Pirates reliever Clay Holmes that scored Cesar Hernandez, and an RBI double from Haseley produced the three runs. Kapler opted to have Irvin bat for himself in that 9th, then remain in to close out the game, earning the lefty his first career save.

Shibe Vintage Sports Starting Pitching Performance :

PIRATES: Jordan Lyles – 5.2 IP, 7H, 1R, 1ER, 1BB, 7K

 

Phillies Nuggets Player of the Game: Bryce Harper

In three of the last four games, Harper has been the difference-maker for the Phillies. He was asked during his post-game interview on Thursday as to his ability to carry the team through the second half of the season. Harper insisted that he doesn’t need to, saying that there are 24 other men who are capable of playing good enough to get them to where they need to be come the end of September.

However, Harper just may indeed prove to be the most pivotal player as the team fights for a playoff berth. In his last six games, the right fielder has an OPS of 1.000, seven RBIs, and has delivered the biggest hits when the Phillies need them the most.

Harper has also looked good while producing runs. He wore custom Phillie Phanatic cleats on Opening Day and debuted a headband with the beloved mascot’s eyes on it during Thursday’s game, continuing to sport it tonight. It’s sure to be an instant hit among Phillies fans.

Ticket IQ Next Game

  • Saturday at 7:05 vs. Pirates @ PNC Park
  • NBC Sports Philadelphia 
  • SportsRadio 94 WIP; WTTP 1680 (Spanish)

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