Final Score: Reds 7, Phillies 4
Rain shortened Aaron Nola’s outing last Tuesday against the Los Angeles Dodgers to just four innings. The former All-Star again pitched less than five innings Sunday, but for entirely different reasons.
In the first act of what was a big day, Reds second baseman Jonathan India led the game off with a 381-foot home run off of Nola. For India — a legitimate candidate for National League Rookie of the Year — it was one of three hits Sunday:
Reds All-Star outfielder Nick Castellanos, along with manager David Bell, were ejected for arguing balls and strikes in the top of the first inning. However, Shogo Akiyama, who replaced Castellanos, picked up where he likely would have left off when he doubled in India and Reds starter Sonny Gray in the top half of the third inning:
As the Phillies looked to get back into the game, J.T. Realmuto led off the bottom of the fourth inning with a triple, and was ultimately plated on a sacrifice fly by Bryce Harper.
Unfortunately for the Phillies, Nola was pulled after 4 2/3 innings Saturday. Bailey Falter was asked to come into a bases-loaded jam, and while the rookie left-hander limited the damage, he did walk a run in before escaping the jam, giving the Reds a 4-1 lead:
This is a pretty non-competitive 3-2 pitch with the bases loaded. pic.twitter.com/08zUYcZk0h— Tim Kelly (@TimKellySports) August 15, 2021
On the two-year anniversary of his walk-off grand slam against the Chicago Cubs, Harper came to the plate with the bases loaded and a chance to get the Phillies back into the game in the bottom of the fifth inning. While he didn’t recreate his most memorable Phillies moment to date, Harper did bring a run home with a walk. Didi Gregorius followed Harper with a sacrifice fly, cutting the Reds lead to 4-3. The Phillies weren’t able to put a crooked number on the scoreboard in the fifth, though.
The Reds added three insurance runs in the top of the eighth inning, and the reality is none of it should have happened. Connor Brogdon was a strike away from completing his second inning of work, and seemingly threw what should have been called strike three. Instead, the pitch was called a ball by home plate umpire Sean Barber, and with an extra strike to work with, Reds catcher Tucker Barnhart knocked Brogdon out of the game with an RBI double:
Héctor Neris — who had been pretty much perfect of late — came on to try to finish out the frame and allowed a two-run home run off the bat of pinch hitter Tyler Stephenson:
To their credit, the Phillies did respond with a run of their own in the bottom of the eighth inning, with Alec Bohm plating Ronald Torreyes on a double that Odúbel Herrera perhaps should have scored on as well. Instead, Jean Segura flew out to end the bottom of the eighth inning, leaving Herrera and Bohm in scoring position.
It was an especially brutal day behind the plate for Barber, which certainly didn’t help their chances of winning the game. Ultimately, though, the Phillies had multiple chances to put up four or five runs in an inning, and they didn’t come through.
With the loss and a win by the Atlanta Braves, the Phillies, now 61-57, have fallen out of first place in the National League East.
Shibe Vintage Sports Starting Pitching Performance
- Sonny Gray hit a wall in the fifth inning against the Phillies, ultimately getting the hook after 4 2/3 innings. In his 18th start of the season, Gray — now 31 years old — allowed four hits and three earned runs.
- Aaron Nola struggled Sunday afternoon, allowing six hits and four earned runs across 4 1/3 innings, while also walking three. Quite frankly, the Phillies need more out of the former All-Star than they’ve received this season, as his ERA now sits at 4.48.
Phillies Nugget Of The Game
Ticket IQ Next Game
- Tuesday, Aug. 17 vs. Diamondbacks at Chase Field
- 9:40 p.m. ET
- TV: NBC Sports Philadelphia
- Radio: SportsRadio 94 WIP
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