Final Score: Braves 5, Phillies 2
In what seems like a reoccurring nightmare, the bullpen took over early in the game and struggled, surrendering four earned runs over three innings in a seven-inning defeat to the Atlanta Braves in the first game of the doubleheader. Adam Duvall’s three-run double in the fifth was the difference-maker.
On the other hand, the Braves bullpen and rookie starter Huascar Ynoa kept the Phillies bats at bay, surrendering only three hits through the whole game. The top six hitters in the lineup combined to go 1-for-15 with 2 RBIs and four walks.
The highly anticipated debut of top pitching prospect Spencer Howard is coming up in the second game of the doubleheader. The 24-year-old will face perhaps the best Braves pitcher currently in the rotation in left-hander Max Fried.
- With the bases loaded and two away in the second inning, Ender Inciarte grounded out to the second baseman Neil Walker. Velasquez began the inning by surrendering a double to Marcell Ozuna and later walked Johan Camargo and Tyler Flowers.
- The Phillies finally got on the board in the third with an Andrew McCutchen RBI groundout. Girardi opted to swap Adam Haseley for McCutchen after the Braves brought in left-hander Tyler Matzek. Matzek’s first pitch was a curveball that fell way short of the plate, allowing for Andrew Knapp and Neil Walker to advance to second and third respectively.
- Ronald Acuña Jr. broke his hitless nod in the series with a two-run home to left field off Deolis Guerra, giving the Braves a 2-1 lead.
- Duvall, who was pinch-hitting for Nick Markakis, broke the game open with a three-run, bases-clearing double off Adam Morgan in the top of the fifth. Once again, the Phillies’ bullpen woes continued.
- McCutchen would earn his second RBI of the game on a sacrifice fly to center field. The 33-year-old is still within a deep slump that dates back to the beginning of the season. He only has two hits throughout the entire homestand.
Shibe Vintage Sports Starting Pitching Performance
Huascar Ynoa: 2 1/3 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 39 pitches
The 22-year-old rookie was solid in his first major-league start, limiting the Phillies to just one hit over two and a third. He’s an arm that isn’t quite stretched out enough to pitch longer into the game, so this can be categorized as a bullpen game for the Braves.
Vince Velasquez: 4+ IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 6 K, 76 pitches
It was a typical Velasquez start: a lot of long at-bats, a lot of strikeouts and an early exit. His velocity averaged around 92 mph, which could be a cause for concern if it becomes a trend.
Since his last start came exactly two weeks ago against the Marlins, he wasn’t going to exceed around 80 pitches. Still, with a second game to play, the Phillies would be in a much better situation to win later today if Velasquez had eaten up an extra inning or two.
Phillies Nuggets Player of the Game: Ronald Acuña Jr.
As Acuña fell behind 0-1 to Guerra in the top of the fifth, fans outside of Ashburn Alley began chanting “Ronald.” The jeers quickly turned to boos as he launched a 368 ft home-run past the left-field wall. Acuña, who was hitless in his last three-games gave the Braves a lead they wouldn’t give back.
Ticket IQ Next Game
- The second game of the doubleheader vs. the Braves at Citizens Bank Park will begin approximately 40 minutes after the conclusion of the first.
- NBC Sports Philadelphia
- Sportsradio 94 WIP
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