In a back-and-forth game between the Philadelphia Phillies and Pittsburgh Pirates, it was ultimately poor timely hitting and a late Rhys Hoskins error that ended this one in Pittsburgh’s favor, 5-4. The Phillies (68-63) are now two games out of the second National League Wild Card spot, and have gone 5-11 against teams with a record below .500 in the month of August.
The night did not start well for Phillies starter Drew Smyly, who has struggled greatly in the month of August. After Kevin Newman led off the top of the first with a triple, Bryan Reynolds followed with a home run to give the Pirates an early 2-0 lead.
Pirates starter Steven Brault retired the Phillies in order in the bottom of the inning, but the Phillies managed to score a run in each of the next three innings and ultimately take the lead. In the second, an Adam Haseley single scored Corey Dickerson from second, who had reached on a double. In the third, Bryce Harper, Jean Segura and Dickerson each had two-out hits, with Dickerson’s scoring Harper from second and tying the game at 2-2. In the fourth, Sean Rodriguez led off with a double and Haseley knocked him in with his second RBI hit of the day to give the Phillies a 3-2 lead.
Meanwhile, after that rocky first inning, Smyly really settled down. He allowed only two baserunners from the second inning to the fourth and escaped a two-on, two-out jam in the fifth with no damage.
In the bottom of the sixth, however, he quickly gave back the lead. After Jose Osuna led off the inning with a single, Colin Moran ripped a home run to right field to put the Pirates up, 4-3. After getting two quick outs, Smyly was relieved by Blake Parker, who got the final out in the inning.
The Pirates lead did not last long, as pinch-hitter Logan Morrison crushed a solo shot to left-center field off of Kyle Crick in the bottom of the sixth to knot the game up at 4-4.
The Phillies bullpen kept the Pirates offense in check over the next couple innings. Ranger Suarez pitched a scoreless seventh and got one out in the eighth before giving way to Jared Hughes, who allowed a hit before getting a double play to keep the game tied through eight.
The Phillies threatened to take the lead after lead-off doubles in the seventh and eighth, but were unable to score against Pirates relievers Keone Kela, Francisco Liriano and Felipe Vasquez. This kept the game tied into the ninth inning, when Hector Neris came in to pitch for the Phillies.
After allowing two one-out walks, Neris got a double-play ball that should have kept the game tied into the bottom of the ninth. But Rhys Hoskins was unable to handle the throw from Jean Segura, and Adam Frazier scored to give the Pirates the lead. This lead held, as Pirates closer Felipe Vasquez flashed his electric stuff to set the Phillies down in order to end the game.
This was an absolutely brutal loss for the Phillies, who have just been unable to go on a run here in August. Their failure to take winnable games from inferior teams has been incredibly frustrating, and it may ultimately cost them a playoff spot. Tomorrow, Vince Velasquez will take the hill as the Phillies will look to break a streak of five straight series losses against teams with below .500 records.
Shibe Vintage Sports Starting Pitching Performance
- It looked like the Pirates might knock Smyly out of the game early in this one, but he settled in through five innings before making another mistake pitch in the sixth to blow the Phillies win. It certainly wasn’t a terrible outing, but the home runs continued a trend for Smyly, who has been bad recently for the Phillies:
Drew Smyly in his first two starts as a Phillie:
13 IP, 0.69 ERA, 0 HR
Drew Smyly in five starts since:
25 IP, 7.20 ERA, 9 HR
— Jonny Heller (@jonnyheller) August 28, 2019
- Steven Brault was just okay for the Pirates, allowing three runs on eight hits spread out over five innings. He could have probably gone deeper in the game, but Clint Hurdle opted to use a pinch-hitter in the top of the sixth, forcing Brault out of the game with only 88 pitches.
Phillies Nuggets Player of the Game: Adam Haseley
- The rookie has been struggling at the plate in August, but he came through in this one for the Phillies. His two RBI singles gave the Phillies production in spots where they’ve lacked it from the bottom of the order. And while a run at a playoff spot relies greatly on the Phillies star players, production from Haseley and the back of the lineup could give the team an extra push down the stretch.
TicketIQ Next Game
- Aug. 28 at Citizens Bank Park
- 7:05 p.m. ET
- TV: NBC Sports Philadelphia
- Radio: SportsRadio 94 WIP, WTTM 1680 (Spanish)
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