Jason Vargas struggled, but the Philadelphia Phillies hit five home runs en route to a 6-5 win over the Atlanta Braves Tuesday night. The Phillies are now 75-69 and temporarily sit two-and-a-half games behind the Chicago Cubs for the second National League Wild Card spot.
The Phillies got things started in a hurry against Braves lefty Max Fried. With one out in the first, J.T. Realmuto hit a home run to left that hit right off the foul pole. Bryce Harper followed with a home run of his own that made it 2-0:
Realmuto and Harper each come through with solo home runs in the 1st! pic.twitter.com/psc05c8gTS
— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) September 10, 2019
After Rhys Hoskins crushed a double off of the center field wall, Corey Dickerson lasered a home run to right to make it 4-0. It seems fitting that these three players gave the Phillies the early lead:
Since August 1st, Corey Dickerson, Bryce Harper, and J.T. Realmuto have accounted for 91 of the Phillies 187 RBI (49%) and 30 of the Phillies' 53 home runs (57%).
— Jonny Heller (@jonnyheller) September 10, 2019
After Vargas stayed out of trouble in the first two innings, he hit a wall in the third. The Braves started the inning with consecutive hits by Ronald Acuna, Ozzie Albies and Freddie Freeman to score one run, but Harper gunned Albies out at third base to get one out in the inning. After Vargas walked the next two batters to load the bases, he allowed a single to Dansby Swanson to cut the lead to 4-2. Vargas then induced what should have been an inning-ending double play, but Realmuto mishandled the flip to home and the Braves made it 4-3. Austin Riley then crushed a ball to the left-center gap, but Scott Kingery made a brilliant diving play to keep it to only a sacrifice fly, which tied the score 4-4.
The game did not stay tied for long, though. In the bottom of the third inning, Kingery crushed a ball over the center field wall that Ronald Acuna reached over and grabbed. But, Acuna dropped the ball bringing it back onto the field and Kingery raced around the bases, beating the throw home on an inside the park home run that gave the Phillies a 5-4 lead:
It still counts! pic.twitter.com/z8x6JTsY76
— Phillies Nation (@PhilliesNation) September 11, 2019
After a couple of quiet innings by the Phillies offense, Dickerson crushed a second deck home run in the bottom of the sixth to make it 6-4, his second of the game.
Meanwhile, the Phillies bullpen cruised. After Vargas exited the game before the fourth inning, Nick Vincent, Blake Parker, Ranger Suarez and Jared Hughes combined for four scoreless that kept the game at 6-4 into the eighth.
Hughes remained in the game after finishing off the seventh, and allowed a home run to Johan Camargo to lead off the eighth that cut the Phillies lead down to one. But Hughes pushed through the rest of the inning, and Hector Neris pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning to preserve the lead against a very dangerous lineup and give the Phillies the win.
The bullpen was outstanding tonight. Through six innings, they allowed only four hits and the one run while striking out nine and walking none. Performances like this will be imperative down the stretch as the Phillies continue to face tough lineups.
Shibe Vintage Sports Starting Pitching Performance
- Jason Vargas was ineffective against a tough lineup tonight, and it continued a trend from the last few weeks. His line: 3 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 3K
- Max Fried settled down after a rough first inning, but the damage was already done. His line: 5 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 5 ER, BB, 5 K
Phillies Nuggets Player of the Game: Corey Dickerson
Dickerson has been awesome for the Phillies since they acquired him at the trade deadline, and tonight may have been his most impressive performance. He hit two home runs, and continued to drive in runs at a high rate:
MLB RBI leaders since August 4th:
Alex Bregman – 36
Aristides Aquino – 35
Jose Abreu – 35
*Corey Dickerson – 34*
Yordan Alvarez – 32
The Phillies have gotten elite run production in exchange for international slot money and a PTBNL.
— Jonny Heller (@jonnyheller) September 11, 2019
It seems unlikely that the Phillies will be able to re-sign Dickerson after this season, but his consistent contributions have been extremely valuable.
TicketIQ Next Game
- Citizens Bank Park vs. Atlanta Braves
- Wednesday at 7:05 p.m. ET
- NBC Sports Philadelphia
- SportsRadio 94 WIP
MORE FROM PHILLIES NATION
- Get Ready To Hear The Phillies Connected To 2 Nationals Quite A Bit
- What Would A Long-Term Deal Look Like For J.T. Realmuto?
- Phillies Reportedly Considered Waiving Maikel Franco Before Season’s End
- Minor League Mash-Up: Howard, Bohm Highlight Regular Season
- The Phillies Future In Center Field Is Murky
- J.T. Realmuto Is Having A Special Season
- Mike Scioscia Reportedly Would Have Interest In Managing Phillies
- Bryce Harper: It Would Be ‘An Absolute Joke’ If J.T. Realmuto Doesn’t Win Gold Glove Award
- Bohm, Howard Among 6 Phillies Prospects Bound For Fall League
- Bryce Harper And Wife Kayla Welcome First Child