Final score: Pirates 7, Phillies 0
There was no 7-0 comeback in-store today.
A night after Brad Miller hit a walk-off grand slam in Game 2 of a doubleheader, Friday’s Philadelphia Phillies-Pittsburgh Pirates game felt like it was over from the very beginning. The Phillies lacked energy all night long, and increasingly seem desperate for reinforcements to the starting rotation.
New acquisition Kyle Gibson will replace either Vince Velasquez — who struggled Friday evening, concluding a brutal month — or Matt Moore in the rotation. Still, with Zach Eflin two-three weeks away from returning according to president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski, one of Velasquez, Moore or Chase Anderson may need to make another start or two.
It’s safe to say neither Velasquez or Moore has been serviceable as of late. This is the sixth start in 2021 in which Velasquez has pitched less than five innings and allowed four or more earned runs. Three of those outings have come in the month of July.
Six of the Pirates 12 hits went for extra bases. Five of their seven runs came in the first two innings. Anderson limited the damage for his first two innings and had a strong overall outing but let the Pirates build their lead to seven runs in the fifth inning. Pittsburgh was outscored 34-4 in the four games prior to this series opener.
Once again, the Phillies missed a chance to move closer to first place in the National League East with the New York Mets Mets falling to the Cincinnati Reds Friday. The Atlanta Braves also dropped their game against the Milwaukee Brewers, which will allow the Phillies to remain in second place in the division. Still, sooner or later, these wasted opportunities are bound to catch up with them. Performances like this against one of the worst teams in baseball simply cannot happen in the midst of a postseason race.
Shibe Vintage Sports Starting Pitching Performance
Wil Crowe: 6 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 4 BB, 4 SO, 92 pitches
With the Phillies down two of their best hitters in Rhys Hoskins and Jean Segura, Crowe looked like an ace early on. To his credit, he silenced the Phillies offense and didn’t waste too many pitches doing it. The only trouble he faced was in the fourth inning when he loaded the bases and he found his way out of it.
Vince Velasquez: 2 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 1 BB, 1 SO, 52 pitches
Harper’s first misplay in right field didn’t help, but Velasquez just couldn’t hit his spots either. This outing never looked pretty with three extra-base hits in the first inning followed by a hit-by-pitch, double and single in the second inning. Each delivery was either well out of the strike zone or right down the pipe. You wonder if this was Velasquez’s final start as a Phillie.
Phillies Nugget Of The Game
All six of Rodolfo Castro’s major league hits have gone for extra bases. His first five were all home runs and his sixth was an RBI double tonight.
Ticket IQ Next Game
- Saturday, July 31 vs. Pirates at PNC Park
- 7:05 p.m. ET
- TV: NBC Sports Philadelphia
- Radio: SportsRadio 94 WIP