It’s hard to remember a Philadelphia Phillies team as involved in the postseason race late in the season that the city was so apathetic about as the 2019 Phillies. Monday night, the Phillies reminded us why 2019 has been such a frustrating campaign.
It didn’t take the Atlanta Braves long to get to Aaron Nola, as Ronald Acuna Jr. led off the game with a solo home run, his 38th of the season:
— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) September 9, 2019
The Braves would add another run in the top of the first, though it came on a double-play groundout by Matt Joyce. Frankly, Nola was lucky to escape the first having only allowed two runs given that Acuna Jr. homered and then the Braves preceded to load up the bases following that.
In the top of the second, the Braves doubled their lead, starting with an RBI single from Ozzie Albies that scored Dansby Swanson, who had doubled to lead off the inning. Freddie Freeman, as he’s seemingly contractually obligated to do against the Phillies, followed that up with an RBI single of his own, which scored Acuna Jr. to make the lead 4-0.
Though he was never at his sharpest, Nola settled in after the second inning, and ultimately kept the Braves at four runs through six innings. Unfortunately for Nola, the Phillies offense didn’t even break into the hits column until the sixth inning, when a fence scraper off the bat of Corey Dickerson put the Phillies on the board:
That’s six home runs as a Phillie for Corey Dickerson. pic.twitter.com/2Ym7l5EjJJ
— Phillies Nation (@PhilliesNation) September 10, 2019
Dickerson’s home run amounted to just about all the offense that the Phillies could muster Monday, as they finished the evening with just five hits, with the only other notable hit a solo home run by Cesar Hernandez. Meanwhile, the Braves weren’t done, as Josh Donaldson put the game out of reach in the top of the seventh inning with a three-run home run:
— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) September 10, 2019
Hindsight is 20/20, but the former American League MVP has had a major bounce-back season in 2019, as he now has 37 home runs and 88 RBIs. Six of those home runs have come against the Phillies, which burns more considering that the Phillies haven’t gotten consistent production from the hot corner. Donaldson – who signed a one-year/$23 million deal with the Braves after an injury-riddled 2018 – may not be long for Atlanta. But if Donaldson is one-and-done in Atlanta, it’s been a pretty special season.
2019 started out with the Phillies sweeping the Braves, leading some to think it could be a special season for the Phillies. Instead, the Braves moved to 89-55 Monday, 14 games ahead of the Phillies in a National League East race that’s essentially been over since Fourth of July.
Shibe Vintage Sports Starting Pitching Performance
- Aaron Nola gave up four runs across the first two innings, including a leadoff home run. Most notably, he appeared to consistently be missing his spots. But while you obviously want your best starters to rise to the occasion in big games, there’s something to be said for Nola’s outing Monday, where he labored through six innings and kept the Phillies in the game. In total, the 26-year-old went six innings, gave up six hits, allowed four runs, walked four and struck out seven.
- Mike Foltynewicz has had a trying 2019 season. After making his first National League All-Star team in 2018, the 27-year-old entered the evening with a 5.28 ERA and 5.45 FIP in 17 starts. You wouldn’t have known that Monday night, however, as he limited the Phillies to just three hits and one run across seven innings.
Phillies Nuggets Player of the Game: Ronald Acuna Jr.
From a Phillies perspective, it’s horrifying that Freddie Freeman – who has seemingly spent a lifetime hitting well against the Phillies – will only turn 30 when he celebrates his birthday this Thursday. Even more terrifying is that Ronald Acuna Jr. is only 21 and the Braves can control him through 2028. In addition to driving in his 17th career run against the Phillies on his leadoff home run, Acuna Jr. made an excellent defensive play in the bottom of the fifth to rob Adam Haseley of an extra-base hit. Acuna Jr. seemingly has Hall of Fame talent, and he’s just getting started in his career.
TicketIQ Next Game
- Citizens Bank Park
- 7:05 p.m. ET
- NBC Sports Philadelphia, MLB Network (out of market only)
- SportsRadio 94 WIP
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