The bats tonight may not have been as scorching hot as the weather in Phoenix, but the Philadelphia Phillies (59-53) offense strung together enough runs in support of an excellent outing from Vince Velasquez. Tonight’s 7-3 victory against the Arizona Diamondbacks (56-57) pulls the Phillies within six games of first place in the National League East and keeps them in a tie for the last NL wild card spot.
Diamondbacks center fielder Ketel Marte, who had just hit an inside-the-park home run against his former teammate Patrick Corbin on Sunday, almost had another in the first. Marte got a hold of a high fastball, sending it to deep center. Roman Quinn could not come up with the catch and Marte made it to third base with ease. He would score on a David Peralta RBI groundout on the very next play.
The Phillies would respond immediately. Phoenix native Scott Kingery took a swing at a first pitch fastball and drove it just over the right field wall for his 14 home run of the season:
It’s always fun to hit home runs when your mom and pops are watching.
— Phillies Nation (@PhilliesNation) August 6, 2019
Both teams would to continue to exchange runs through the middle innings. The Phillies would take the lead in the third. Rhys Hoskins was awarded first base after catcher’s interference was called on Arizona’s Carson Kelly. Bryce Harper then followed up with a single and J.T. Realmuto brought Hoskins home with an RBI double. Segura would take it upon himself to score Harper with a bloop single to center. Arizona would get another back in the bottom of the inning with an Eduardo Escobar sacrifice fly.
The Phillies manufactured another run in the fourth. Rookie Adam Haseley began the inning with a double to right. Velasquez bunted him over to third. Quinn tried to bunt Haseley into score, but ended up legging out an infield hit instead. Hernandez would then make up for the failed bunt attempt with an RBI groundout, expanding the Phillies lead to two.
The scoring halted for a few innings, but picked back up in the seventh. Segura knocked in his second run of the game with another single to center. Another run was added on in the eighth. Roman Quinn’s single to center field scored Adam Haseley, who also singled to begin the inning and found himself on third after a horrendous pickoff attempt from Diamondbacks pitcher T.J McFarland.
The Diamondbacks looked like they were on the verge of a comeback. They were able to get a run home off Juan Nicasio, but the rally was quickly squashed as both Nicasio and Jose Alvarez teamed up to limit the home side to just one run in the bottom half of the eighth.
The Phillies added on another in the ninth. Hector Neris was able to set down the Diamondbacks with relative ease in the ninth, despite a sloppy fielding error from Segura at short stop.
The team will send Jake Arrieta to the mound to face new Diamondbacks pitcher Mike Leake in the second game of the series later on today.
Shibe Vintage Sports Starting Pitching Performance
Vince Velasquez: 7.0 IP, 6H, 2R, 2ER, 2BB, 3SO
Merrill Kelly: 6.0 IP, 8H, 4R, 3ER, 1BB, 4SO
Phillies Nuggets Player of the Game: Vince Velasquez
It was only appropriate for Vince Velasquez to follow up the game he had on Friday with his best outing of the season. He was able to both elevate his fastball and effectively utilize his secondary pitches to keep the Arizona hitters guessing. Velasquez also avoided a late-inning implosion and was able to properly finish off his outing, something he has struggled to do throughout his time in the rotation this season. His heads-up double play on a bunt attempt certainty won’t break the internet like his outfield assist and diving catch in left field did the other night, but it was impressive nonetheless and a key play in this game. Tonight’s outing combined with any sort of confidence boost he may have enjoyed while making a couple web gems in the outfield on Friday should hopefully give way to better pitching performances down the stretch from Velasquez.
Ticket IQ Next Game:
- August 9th vs. Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field
- NBC Sports Philadelphia
- Sportsradio 94 WIP; WTTM 1680 (Spanish)