2019 Postgame Recaps

Offense struggles against Bieber in loss to Indians

Jay Bruce went 0-for-4 in his first start since August 8. (Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire)

The Philadelphia Phillies (78-74) dropped the first of three against the Cleveland Indians (91-63) by a final of 5-2. The offense struggled against Cleveland’s Shane Bieber and Drew Smyly lasted only two innings in another disappointing outing for the 30-year-old.

Tonight had the making of a long night for the Phillies from the get-go. Smyly could not hit his spots and the Indians took advantage. The Tribe opened the scoring with a RBI double to left-center off the bat of Oscar Mercado. Yasiel Puig, who was acquired in a trade with the Cincinnati Reds this past trade deadline, added on to the Indians lead with a single that scored Mercado from third.

The struggles continued for Smyly in the second. He got the lead-off hitter Yu Chang to ground out on just two pitches, but walked Andrew Velazquez in the next at-bat. Smyly had Velazquez picked, but Rhys Hoskins’ throw to second came off the runner’s bat. Velazquez would later score on a Francisco Lindor RBI single, extending the lead to 3-0.

Carlos Santana, who went from slashing .229./352/.414 in 2018 with the Phillies to .282/.398/.526 in 2019 with the Indians, knocked a middle-in cutter into left field for yet another RBI single for Cleveland. He was run-down to end the second inning after being caught trying to take second base:

Smyly exited the game after surrendering a lead-off walk to begin the third. Nick Vincent was the first arm out of the pen and was lights out. The 33-year-old right hander struck out three in two shutout innings, keeping the Phillies within striking distance.

The team finally got their first hit in the fourth off a lead-off single by César Hernández. They cracked the scoreboard an inning later off Maikel Franco’s 17th double of the season, which scored Brad Miller from third and Adam Haseley from first:

After a scoreless inning and a third from Blake Parker, Jared Hughes came in to  wrap up the sixth. The Indians would finally crack the bullpen’s scoreless streak in the seventh with Mercado’s second RBI of the game, stretching the home side’s lead to three.

Bieber went on to pitch seven and a third excellent innings of baseball. 16-year-veteran Óliver Pérez took care of Bryce Harper, getting him to ground out to third. Former Phillie and leukemia survivor Carlos Carrasco came in and after a controversial non-strike three call, the 32-year-old ended the eighth inning by retiring Jay Bruce on a ground ball to second. Carrasco came back to the mound to pitch a 1-2-3 ninth inning, earning his first save of his career.

Shibe Vintage Sports Starting Pitching Performance

Drew Smyly: 2.0 IP, 5H, 4R, 4ER, 3BB, 0SO

After throwing a gem against the Mets in New York at the beginning of the month, Smyly just hasn’t looked the same in both his last outing against Atlanta and tonight against Cleveland. He struggled to throw strikes and when he did, they were served right in the middle and Indians hitters made him pay. Smyly should be given credit for not allowing the first to spiral out of control as he threw 21 pitches before recording the first out and only managed to give up two runs. He’ll have one more chance to record one last quality outing in a Phillies uniform before the regular season ends.

Shane Bieber: 7.1 IP, 7H, 2R, 2ER, 0BB, 7SO

Phillies Nuggets Player of the Game: Shane Bieber

This year’s All-Star Game MVP was in control tonight in route to his 15th victory of the season. The only real blemish to his line was Franco’s two-run double, but other than that, he was getting ahead in the counts and hitting his spots on the outside part of the plate. The Indians playoff hopes were revived in thanks to Bieber and his young counterparts in the rotation, including ace Mike Clevinger. They now hold the second Wild Card spot in the American League. Cleveland certainly would not be where they are in the standings without the clutch performances Bieber has put out throughout the season.

Ticket IQ Next Game

  • 7:10 vs. Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field
  • NBC Sports PhiladelphiaFox Sports 1
  • Sportsradio 94 WIPWTTM 1680 (Spanish)

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