Scott Kingery homered, the bullpen tossed six outstanding innings, and the Philadelphia Phillies beat the Cincinnati Reds, 6-2. The Phillies improve to 72-65 and temporarily sit two games behind the Chicago Cubs in the National League Wild Card.
In the top of the first inning, J.T. Realmuto lined his team-leading 33rd double of the season against Reds starter Lucas Sims, but the Phillies were unable to get anything going in the inning. In the bottom half of the inning, the Reds got things started with a leadoff base hit from Josh VanMeter followed by a Joey Votto walk. After Freddy Galvis flied out, star rookie Aristides Aquino singled and gave the Reds a 1-0 lead. The Reds threatened again with a couple of baserunners, but Vince Velasquez, who certainly didn’t have his best stuff, escaped with no damage.
In the top of the third inning, Adam Haseley led things off with a double and got over to third on a sacrifice bunt from Velasquez. After Corey Dickerson reached on an infield single, J.T. Realmuto hit a sacrifice fly to tie the game, 1-1.
After Velasquez got through the third inning, the Phillies took the lead when Jean Segura hit a pinch-hit double and Cesar Hernandez singled him home.
Following walks by Kingery and Haseley, Phil Gosselin was called on to pinch-hit for Velasquez against the left-handed Amir Garrett. The Reds then brought in right-handed reliever R.J. Alaniz to pitch, and the Phillies brought in Logan Morrison to face him in a classic September baseball sequence. Morrison grounded out into an inning-ending double play, and the score remained 2-1.
In the top of the fifth inning, the Phillies added to their lead. After Dickerson and Realmuto walked to start the inning, Bryce Harper grounded a single through the right side and give the Phillies a 3-1 lead. The RBI was Harper’s 100th of the season, making him the first Phillie to accomplish the feat since Ryan Howard did it in 2011. It is important to note just how good Harper has been in clutch situations to reach this feat:
RBI is obviously flawed, but can be a really good stat with context provided. Bryce Harper has 100 RBI because he is hitting .365/.464/.661 with 8 HR, 18 XBH, and 65 RBI with RISP. He has been great when it counts, and that is why he reached this mark.
— Jonny Heller (@jonnyheller) September 4, 2019
After Harper’s hit got Realmuto to third, Hoskins lined a sac-fly to right field that gave the Phillies a 4-1 lead.
The Phillies offense went quiet after the fifth inning, but it didn’t matter. The lone blemish of the night for the Phillies bullpen was a sac-fly by Alex Blandino against Blake Parker in the eighth inning. Prior to Parker, Nick Vincent, Ranger Suarez, Mike Morin, and Jose Alvarez combined for four no-hit innings to keep the Reds from staging any comeback.
After failing to reach base in three consecutive innings, the Phillies offense returned in the top of the ninth. After Kingery led off the inning with a solo home run, Haseley and Dickerson doubled to make it 6-2. And in the bottom of the ninth, Hector Neris struck out the side and the Phillies held on to win their third straight.
It has many times been said that the Phillies desperately need to go on a run, and they may be on the cusp of that right now. Their pitching has been great the last three games, and everyone in the offense has been contributing in some way over the past couple weeks. The Phillies will look to match their season-best four-game winning streak Wednesday night in Cincy.
Shibe Vintage Sports Starting Pitching Performance
- It was clear that Vince Velasquez did not have his best stuff early in this game, and was unable to provide the Phillies with any length in this game. He probably could have gone past the third inning despite the pitch count already up to 67, but was lifted in favor of a pinch hitter in a bases loaded, one out situation in the top of the fourth. His line: 3 IP, 4 H, R, 2 BB, 5 K
- This was a spot start for Lucas Sims to replace injured starter Alex Wood, and he had a solid, short outing. His line: 2.2 IP, 3 H, ER, 2 K
Phillies Nuggets Player of the Game: Phillies bullpen
- With Velasquez leaving early in this game, the Phillies needed their bullpen arms to step up. They certainly did, as Vincent, Suarez, Morin, Alvarez, Parker, and Neris combined for six innings of one-run baseball in a hitter’s ballpark to keep the Phillies ahead. The bullpen certainly can’t sustain production like this, but anything close to it will go a long way in keeping the playoffs in sight for this Phillies team.
Ticket IQ Next Game
- Wednesday at 6:40 vs. Reds at Great American Ballpark
- NBC Sports Philadelphia
- Sportsradio 94 WIP; WTTM 1680 (Spanish)
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