Final Score: Dodgers 5, Phillies 3
There’s no shortage of former MVPs between the Phillies and the Dodgers, but on a night where Bryce Harper exited early, Clayton Kershaw didn’t pitch and Cody Bellinger sat, the remaining three — Andrew McCutchen, Albert Pujols and Mookie Betts — had to assume the burden.
McCutchen did his part with a solo home run. The problem for the Phillies: Pujols and especially Betts did theirs too, and in the end, it was enough for the Dodgers to pick up a 5-3 victory at Dodger Stadium and earn the series win.
The 2018 American League MVP Betts’ solo shot in the seventh inning gave the Dodgers a late lead, and he tacked on another run with an RBI knock in the eighth (set up by a broken-bat hit from the three-time National League MVP Pujols). Those two runs — plus a few missed opportunities from the Phillies for the second straight night — were the difference.
The Phillies fell back below .500 on the season and move to 0-2 to start their six-game West Coast road trip. They’ll look to avoid a series sweep tomorrow with Zack Wheeler on the mound opposite 2014 NL MVP Kershaw.
- Another night, another go-ahead RBI by Will Smith, albeit a less spectacular one this time: The Dodgers catcher brought home Gavin Lux with a fielder’s choice in the first on a ball that just wasn’t hit hard enough for the Phillies to turn an inning-ending double play.
- Andrew McCutchen launched a 416-foot solo home run, his 11th big fly of the season, with one out in the second. He and Dusty Wathan tied with paper in rock-paper-scissors around third base; more importantly, it tied the ballgame at one.
- Bryce Harper exited with lower back tightness after looking uncomfortable on a swinging strikeout in the top half of the frame. Harper’s back has flared up time and time again the last few seasons, so this is certainly the last thing the Phillies wanted to see. Girardi said after the game that he’s day-to-day.
- Phillies pitchers have had trouble with two outs all season, and it was more of the same in the fourth: Zack McKinstry and opposing pitcher Julio Urías hit back-to-back doubles to put the Dodgers ahead 3-1. An Odúbel Herrera to Jean Segura relay almost nabbed Chris Taylor at the plate on the first double, but J.T. Realmuto was unable to come up with Segura’s one-hop throw.
- Herrera’s two-run single in the fifth (which saw him reach second on a fielding error) tied things up after Alec Bohm singled, Luke Williams reached on an error and Eflin bunted the runners over. However, he was stranded there when Segura lined out sharply and Torreyes (in for Harper) popped out.
- Joe Girardi’s decision to pull Eflin with two outs and two on in the sixth didn’t pay off, as Brad Miller lined out softly to second.
- Mookie Betts gave the Dodgers a 4-3 lead with a solo shot to left center in the bottom of the seventh inning. Ranger Suárez had him in an 0-2 count but left a changeup in the zone, and the perennial All-Star made him pay.
- The Phillies had a golden opportunity to at least tie it when Travis Jankowski and Rhys Hoskins walked to start the eighth, but second was as far as any runner would reach. McCutchen and Bohm struck out before Williams grounded into a force out to end the threat.
- Betts made his presence felt once again in the eighth inning, lacing an RBI single up the middle with two outs for a key insurance run off Archie Bradley.
- Segura reached base with two outs in the ninth inning on an error by Pujols, but had to leave the game, and it doesn’t sound great for the two-time All-Star:
- Blake Treinen struck out Realmuto, the tying run, on a close call to end things.
Shibe Vintage Sports Starting Pitching Performance
Zach Eflin: 5.0 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 2 SO, 73 pitches
The two-out hits — particularly the one to Urías — hurt Eflin, but it wasn’t an overall terrible performance. It’s just the second time this season Eflin didn’t go six innings, though his hook came with runners on first and second in the sixth for the pinch-hitting Miller. He pitched to contact all night, inducing eight groundouts and recording just two strikeouts — tied for his fewest in a start this season. His ERA is now 3.99.
Julio Urías: 5.2 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 5 SO, 96 pitches
Urías’ defense didn’t help him out much, and all things considered, it could’ve been a much worse night for the lefty. His curveball was his most effective offering and generally kept the Phillies’ lefties off balance. His ERA finished the day at 3.54.
Phillies Nuggets Player of the Game: Mookie Betts
Betts tallied three hits on the night, drove in two and scored one. His biggest knock was the solo shot that gave the Dodgers a 4-3 lead in the seventh, and the insurance run he drove in in the eighth helped Dodgers fans breathe a little easier in the ninth.
Ticket IQ Next Game
- Wednesday, June 16 vs. Los Angeles Dodgers at 10:10 p.m. ET
- Dodger Stadium
- MLB Network, NBC Sports Philadelphia
- 94 WIP
MORE FROM PHILLIES NATION
- Phillies Will Be Forced To Consider Drastic Defensive Overhaul After 2021
- Phillies Not Ruling Out The Possibility Of Seranthony Domínguez Pitching In 2021
- How The Phillies Can Optimize Their Rotation With Light Schedule Ahead
- What Phillies Have A Chance To Make The All-Star Team?
- 33 Numbers To Remember: The Defining Stats Of Cliff Lee’s Career
- Joe Girardi On Concept Of Mercy Rule: ‘I’d Probably Be OK With It’
- Former College Two-Way Standout Climbing Phillies’ Minor League Ranks As Pitcher
- Zack Wheeler Becomes First Phillie Since Roy Halladay To Do This
- Joe Girardi: Phillies View Mickey Moniak ‘More As A Corner Outfielder’
- Phillies 2021 Walk-Up Songs