Final Score: Braves 6, Phillies 5
The nightmare continues.
Zack Wheeler’s curveball gave Braves hitters fits all night long, but that doesn’t seem to matter as the bullpen could not hold the lead. Behind a three-run eighth inning, the Braves claimed the series victory.
New Phillies closer Brandon Workman struggled in his first outing. He allowed both of Héctor Neris’ inherited runners to score in the eighth and surrendered the game-winning run in the ninth to Adam Duvall.
“It’s no fun when you go through it,” Girardi said postgame. “Tomorrow’s a new day and we’ve got to be ready to play.”
Bryce Harper continued on a tear, hitting his seventh home run on the season. Andrew McCutchen also homered in the loss. Harper spoke during postgame about the bullpen.
“We’ve got to be better,” Harper said. “Absolutely, just be better, plain and simple. We’ve got to trust in those guys and we have to have the confidence in those guys to get out there and throw strikes and get outs. The day that we don’t have confidence in those guys, it’s not going to be good.”
The series in Atlanta ends with a Sunday Night Baseball finale. Zach Eflin will get the start against Josh Tomlin.
Prior to tonight’s game, the Phillies announced they have activated right-handed pitchers David Hale, Heath Hembree and Workman. They optioned LHP Cole Irvin and RHP Connor Brogdon to the alternate training site in Lehigh Valley and designated RHP Deolis Guerra for assignment. Outfielder Adam Haseley was also activated from the injured list. Jay Bruce was placed on the 10-day injured list with a left quad strain.
- On Krew Harper’s first birthday, his father Bryce blasted a 470-foot home run to give the Phillies an early 2-0 lead. Per Todd Zolecki, Harper’s home run was the longest of his Phillies career and the second-longest Phillies home run of the Statcast era. The longest was Maikel Franco’s 471-foot home run on July 10, 2016.
- J.T. Realmuto scorched a 105-mph line-drive towards Austin Riley at third base for his 22nd RBI of the season. He drove in Rhys Hoskins, who reached base safely on yet another horrendous fielding error from Riley.
- McCutchen hit his second home run of the season off left-hander Grant Dayton in the top of the seventh. The solo shot extended the Phillies’ lead to 4-0. Birthday boy Dusty Wathan beat out McCutchen in rock-paper-scissors. Wathan opted for scissors while McCutchen had paper. Wathan is 1-0-1 against McCutchen on the season.
- Wheeler allowed just his second home run of the season in the bottom of the seventh. The struggling Riley was sitting on a curveball and he drilled it to left field to cut the lead to 4-2.
- The Braves tied the game and took the lead in the eighth as part of another disastrous outing for the Phillies bullpen. Neris allowed an RBI single and left runners on first and third for Workman, who was tasked with getting a five-out save. Matt Adams went after a first-pitch curveball and lined it to left-field, scoring Freeman from third and Ozuna all the way from first.
- With the bases loaded and one away, Harper hit a ball to the Atlanta rookie Cristian Pache in left field. Walker tagged and he just sneaked his hand in to tie the game. Realmuto had a chance to take the lead but struck out with two runners on.
- Duvall won the game on a two-out bases-loaded single for a walk-off win.
Shibe Vintage Sports Starting Pitching Performance
Zach Wheeler: 7 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 8 K, 105 pitches
Wheeler’s excellent start to the season continued Saturday night in his home state. This time, he relied more heavily on his curveball to get Atlanta hitters out. The only blemish was the Riley home run in the seventh. If he could combine that along with an ability to pitch to contact and get hitters out in an efficient matter, Wheeler will continue dominating any lineup he faces.
Robbie Erlin: 4 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 67 pitches
The 29-year-old Erlin made his 40th career start on Saturday against the Phillies. He was shaky in a relief appearance against the Phillies last week, but he was able to keep the Philadelphia lineup quiet after Harper’s first-inning bomb.
Phillies Nuggets Player of the Game: Bryce Harper
It’s safe to say that Harper is firmly in the NL MVP discussion. He hit the second-longest home run of his career and the 34th of his career against Atlanta, per Tim Kelly. In addition, Harper walked twice in the game and drove in the game-tying run in the ninth. He has reached base safely in all 22 games he has played.
Ticket IQ Next Game
- Sunday, August 23 vs. the Atlanta Braves at Truist Park
- Sportsradio 94 WIP
MORE FROM PHILLIES NATION
- Andrew McCutchen’s Cathartic Home Run Signaled The End Of A Grueling Journey
- Girardi On Fernando Tatís Jr.: ‘Let The Players Play
- Bohm’s Arrival Will Have Trickle-Down Effect on Scott Kingery, Jean Segura
- 4 Phillies Ranked In MLB Pipeline’s Top 100 Prospects
- Remembering Bart Braun, Whose Fingerprints Are On Everyone In The Phillies Organization
- Phillies’ 2020 Walk-Up Songs
- Joe Girardi Favors Postseason Expansion In Short And Long Term
- Phillies To Retire Dick Allen’s No. 15
- Former Top Prospect Domonic Brown Returns To Reading, This Time As Youth Coach
- Keith Law Discusses State Of Phillies Farm System