Final Score: Phillies 7, Braves 6
Fredde Freeman and Ronald Acuña Jr. both homered for the Atlanta Braves Sunday evening, but it was the Philadelphia Phillies bats (and the help of a controversial call) that propelled them a victory on the national stage.
- After the Phillies saw just eight pitches in the top of the first inning, the Braves immediately jumped on Matt Moore. Ronald Acuña Jr. beat out what should have been a relatively easy ground ball for Didi Gregorius, which Ozzie Albies followed with an opposite-field home run:
- Later in the inning, Dansby Swanson plated Travis d’Arnaud with an RBI single, extending the Braves lead to 3-0.
- In the top of the second inning, J.T. Realmuto led off with a double, stole third and was ultimately plated by Jean Segura, who hit a ball to the warning track for a sacrifice fly:
- The Phillies exploded in the fourth inning, starting with a 404-foot home run to left field, already his eighth extra-base hit of the season:
- After back-to-back singles from Alec Bohm and Jean Segura, Didi Gregorius hit a 106.1 laser into the right field stands to give the Phillies a 5-3 lead:
- Roman Quinn nearly got into the party in the fourth inning as well, hitting a long fly ball to the warning track in left field, but it was ultimately put away by Marcell Ozuna to end the inning. It was a ball that may very well have been out at Citizens Bank Park. When you’re struggling, you really can’t catch a break sometimes.
- Last weekend’s series was the first time that Freddie Freeman went an entire three-game series against the Phillies without recording to hit. Suffice to say, the reigning National League MVP didn’t do that this weekend. The notorious Phillie-killer led led off the bottom of the fifth with his third home run in as many days, tying the game at five:
- Not to be outdone, Bryce Harper led off the top of the sixth inning with an opposite-field home run, his second straight day with a bomb:
- Connor Brogdon needed just 10 pitches to retire the Braves in the bottom of the sixth. As Phillies Nation‘s Jonny Heller noted, Brogdon has now made 10 consecutive scoreless appearances dating back to September of 2020.
- A night after an electric performance, Sam Coonrod wasn’t as successful as Brogdon, as he allowed Acuña to hit his second home run of the series, a solo shot that travelled 428 feet:
- Alec Bohm led off the top of the ninth inning with a double, and was advanced to third base on a groundout by Jean Segura. Didi Gregorius hit a shallow fly ball to left field, and the Phillies sent Bohm home, despite the ball being hit relatively shallow. The ball beat Bohm, but he appeared to slide around the tag and was called safe. Replay seemed to suggest that Bohm’s foot never touched the plate, though the call was upheld upon further review because there wasn’t enough evidence to overturn it:
- In the home half of the ninth inning, Héctor Neris, who has had his fair share of struggles against the Braves, retired all three batters he faced, closing out the Phillies sixth win of the season.
Shibe Vintage Sports Starting Pitching Performance
- In his second start with the Phillies, Matt Moore struggled mightily, allowing nine hits and five earned runs across five innings. He did strike five out, but the 31-year-old has an ERA of 7.56 after two starts in 2021.
- Former Phillie Drew Smyly wasn’t much better than Moore, allowing two home runs, five hits and five runs across five frames. Like Moore, he’s off to a slow start with his new team, with a 5.73 ERA to show after two games with the Braves.
Phillies Nuggets Player of the Game: Ronald Acuña Jr.
Even in a loss, Acuña was clearly the best player on the field Sunday night, and has perhaps been the most dominant player in the sport early on in 2021. Sunday, he went 3-4 with an infield single and home run.
- ESPN‘s Jesse Rodgers obtained the following quote on why after review the call of Bohm being safe at home plate stood: “After viewing all relevant angles, the Replay Official could not definitively determine that the runner failed to touch home plate prior to the fielder applying the tag.”
- Alec Bohm on whether he thought he was safe or not: “I was called safe, that’s all that matters.”
- Joe Girardi on Dusty Wathan’s decision to send Bohm: “We felt that we had a chance. We talk about those things before the game – Dusty goes over all the analytics with the outfielders and their arms and the speed of the baserunner – and just felt that we had a shot. And, it was a narrow one, it was by the skin of his big toe I think that we scored. It looked like his big toe kind of hit the corner of the plate, is what we saw when we saw a lot of the angels.”
- Braves manager Brian Snitker to the collective media, including Jayson Stark of The Athletic: “It’s frustrating sometimes…That’s what I told the umpires, because I got a view. I got a view on the big screen that he didn’t touch the plate.”
- Drew Smyly on the call and decision not to overturn it to Gabe Burns of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution: “It’s embarrassing. Why even have replay if you’re not going to overturn that?”
- Braves shortstop Dansby Swanson to Zach Klein of WSB-TV on some fans throwing trash on the field when they didn’t like the outcome of replay: “There a few things that bother me… I love the fans, they are passionate and they care. That was the most embarrassing thing of the whole night. Not the call, fans were a disrespectful representation of our city.”
- Bohm on how a win like this can set the tone for the season: “Big time…we’re punching each other back and fourth…it was a great game. Anytime they scored, we’d answer. Anytime we scored, they’d answer. And we just got the last punch in. That’s a good win, getting out of here, saving ourselves from getting swept and going to New York with a little momentum.”
- Joe Girardi: “Acuña Jr. is so hot right now, I’m good not seeing him for a while.”
Ticket IQ Next Game
- Phillies at New York Mets on Monday, April 11
- 7:10 p.m. ET
- TV: NBCSP+
- Radio: SportsRadio 94 WIP
MORE FROM PHILLIES NATION
- Phillies 2021 Walk-Up Songs
- Phillies Nation Top 20 Phillies Prospects: March 2021
- Inside The Phillies Plan To Fix Former Top Prospect Scott Kingery
- Joe Girardi Not Ready To Jump To Conclusions In Center Field
- Brad Miller Revitalized His Career During First Stint With The Phillies
- What Fans Should Know Before Returning To Citizens Bank Park
- Spencer Howard Will Wear Many Hats This Season
- What Will Former No. 1 Overall Pick Mark Appel’s Role Be In The Phillies Organization?
- J.T. Realmuto Could Have Been Traded For Another Future Phillie In 2014
- Report: Phillies Expected To Be Players In Next Offseason’s Historic SS Market