Final: Phillies 3, Blue Jays 1
With another salary bump coming in his third and final year of arbitration eligibility, Vince Velasquez may very well be in the waning days of what’s largely been a disappointing tenure with the Philadelphia Phillies.
However, if the Phillies are able to remain in playoff position and snap an eight-year postseason drought in the next week, Velasquez’s performance Saturday evening will be a big reason why.
Despite throwing nearly 50 pitches in his first two innings of work, Velasquez was able to go six solid innings Saturday evening against the Toronto Blue Jays, outdueling Hyun-jin ryu, who finished second in National League Cy Young Award voting a season ago.
- Other than a brief delay in the top of the first as Vince Velasquez asked for the groundscrew to work on the mound, the first few innings were largely uneventful. However, Jean Segura, starting at third with Alec Bohm out of the lineup Saturday, did make a pretty remarkable catch in the top of the second inning:
- Travis Shaw broke the scoreless tie in the top of the fifth inning, hitting his fifth home run of the season, a solo shot:
- Jay Bruce led off the bottom of the fifth inning with an opposite-field double. After Scott Kingery sacrifice bunted, advancing him to third base, Andrew Knapp drove Bruce in with an RBI single:
- The Phillies added a second run in the fifth inning. Following his RBI Knapp was advanced to third base on a single by Adam Haseley. As the Phillies continued to play small ball, Andrew McCutchen drove Knapp in with a single of his own.
- While Bryce Harper would single to load up the bases, the Phillies weren’t able to add any more runs on in the fifth. Jean Segura struck out with the bases loaded, and Didi Gregorius flew out to end the inning.
- The Phillies added an insurance run on the top of the ninth inning. With the bases loaded, Adam Haseley hit a ground ball to the right of Blue Jays’ shortstop Bo Bichette. Bichette made a diving stop, but was unable to gather himself and complete a throw to first base. Even if he had, it’s unlikely he would have thrown Haseley out at first base.
- Though the Phillies left five runners on base between the seventh and eighth innings, the three runs they scored proved to be enough Saturday. In relief of Velasquez, not only did Blake Parker, David Phelps and Tommy Hunter not give up a run, but not a single hit.
Shibe Vintage Sports Starting Pitching Performance
- Hyun-jin Ryu, who the Blue Jays signed to a lucrative free-agent deal this past offseason, was excellent through the first four innings of Saturday’s game. He ran into some trouble in the fifth, though, as the Phillies nickel-and-dimed him for two runs. He was fortunate to strand the bases loaded that inning, and limit the damage. In total, he went six innings and gave up six hits and two runs.
- Vince Velasquez turned in his best start of the season on Saturday, limiting the Blue Jays to just two hits and one run over six strong innings for the Phillies. Walking three batters is suboptimal, but Velasquez also struck out six Saturday. 104 pitches over six innings is relatively economical for Velasquez.
Ticket IQ Next Game
- Sunday, Sept. 20 vs. Toronto Blue Jays at Citizens Bank Park
- 3:05 p.m. ET
- NBC Sports Philadelphia
- SportsRadio 94 WIP
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