Final score: Yankees 6, Phillies 5
In one of the more bizarre games the Phillies have played this season — a game that neither team seemingly had any interest in winning — a lack of timely hits gave the Phillies a crushing defeat and a two-game sweep at the hands of the New York Yankees.
With a depleted pitching staff onset by a series of moves to the injured list Tuesday, the Phillies knew it would be tough to piece together 27 outs (let alone 28). The bullpen game actually worked out decently for manager Joe Girardi’s club, from a pitching perspective — Spencer Howard turned in three solid innings and, despite rough outings by a couple relievers, the staff gave the team a chance.
It was a chance the offense didn’t take, however, as an ugly 1-for-14 mark with runners in scoring position was too much to overcome. Even in an eighth-inning rally that tied the game, that untimely hitting reared its ugly head as the Phillies blew a chance to take a late lead. It cost them, and the Phillies are .500 once again because of it.
The ballgame got off to as good a start as the Phillies could’ve imagined. Jean Segura wasted no time (literally) putting the Phillies ahead early, leading the game off with a solo home run just beyond the left-field wall against Asher Wojciechowski. Not only was it the very first pitch of the game; it was Wojciechowski’s first pitch as a Yankee, and it was a forgettable one.
A 1-2-3 first inning for Howard (which featured a three-pitch, all-fastball strikeout of Giancarlo Stanton), plus a 4-6-3 double play in the second kept the Phillies ahead after two innings. Bryce Harper extended the lead by roping an 110-mph RBI double to right in the third, scoring J.T. Realmuto. The Phillies could’ve added more but didn’t cash in after putting two on with no outs. (They also had two on with one out in the second but came up empty.)
Howard got another big strikeout of Stanton — again on a fastball — to strand a pair of runners in the third, ending an overall encouraging performance for the righty.
Cristopher Sánchez came on in relief of Howard and opened the fourth with two strikeouts, but things quickly went south from there: Gleyber Torres homered (359 feet), Brett Gardner singled, Greg Allen doubled him home and Tyler Wade walked before Estevan Florial struck out to end the frame.
Stop us if you’ve heard this before: In the sixth, the Phillies again put runners on first and second with one out, and the Phillies again did not score. Connor Brogdon followed in the bottom half of the frame with his second scoreless inning to keep the game tied going into the seventh.
The Yankees showed the Phillies what timely hitting looks like in the bottom of the seventh. They had a runner on second with two outs against Héctor Neris, and the Phillies’ righty couldn’t finish the job: Giancarlo Stanton hit an opposite-field, two-strike single to plate the go-ahead run in Florial, and Rougned Odor provided two insurance runs with a two-run blast to right.
Perhaps inspired, the Phillies finally got it going with runners in scoring position in the eighth. An error and two walks loaded the bases, Luke Williams came through with a two-run single and Ronald Torreyes scored on a wild pitch to tie it up. Still, the Phillies missed a golden opportunity to take the lead after putting runners on second and third with one out. Realmuto struck out and Bryce Harper walked before Andrew McCutchen flew out to remain tied.
The ninth inning had just about every twist and turn you can imagine, and the only thing it lacked was runs. Rhys Hoskins, seemingly stealing on first move from Aroldis Chapman, was picked off after working a leadoff walk, thwarting a potential rally. In the bottom half, Brad Miller almost had the Phillies doomed by letting a line drive go right over his head, putting the winning run 90 feet away with just one out. But Ranger Suárez, oft the Phillies’ savior, turned in another heroic performance by inducing a fielder’s choice out at the plate and a popup to send the game to extras.
Fittingly, it was situational hitting (or the lack thereof) that ultimately did the Phillies in. After Ronald Torreyes bunted the zombie runner in Miller to third, Williams struck out swinging and Segura flew out. In a game where each team tried desperately several times to give it away, the Yankees finally took it, as a Ryan LaMarre single following a sacrifice bunt ended things.
Shibe Vintage Sports Starting Pitching Performance
Asher Wojciechowski: 4.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 4 SO, 83 pitches
It could have been much worse for Wojciechowski, and the Phillies would probably concur. He held them to 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position, twice working out of multi-baserunner, zero- or one-out jams. He didn’t exactly overpower anyone, but he located enough (and got enough calls) to exit with the score tied.
Spencer Howard: 3.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 SO, 42 pitches
It seems the plan all along was just for Howard to take down three innings, and he gave the Phillies what they asked for. His velocity drop was less extreme than it’s been (though the short outing may have contributed), as he was able to get up to 95 mph to work out of the third-inning jam. He flashed solid off-speed stuff as well, but his out pitch Wednesday was his fastball, and strong command helped him utilize it as such.
Phillies Nugget Of The Game
Odor’s 363-foot homer was the Yankees’ fourth in the two-game series that traveled fewer than 365 feet. Torres hit one 359 feet on Wednesday, Gardner’s Tuesday shot went 361 feet and Florial’s Game 1 homer went a not-so-staggering 349. Suffice it to say the Phillies will be glad not to have to deal with the Yankee Stadium short porch in right field anymore this season — barring improbable World Series runs from each team.
Ticket IQ Next Game
- Thursday, July 22 vs. Atlanta Braves at Citizens Bank Park
- 7:05 p.m. ET
- TV: NBC Sports Philadelphia
- Radio: SportsRadio 94 WIP
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