Final score: Phillies 15, Pirates 4
Just over one week ago, Philadelphia Phillies manager Joe Girardi said “If you don’t pitch, you don’t have a chance.”
Since then, the Phillies have reconstructed their rotation. New acquisition Kyle Gibson did not disappoint in his Phillies debut. He pitched into the seventh inning and surrendered just two runs. Prior to the trade deadline, the Phillies had three starting pitchers who were struggling to last more than four innings. Gibson showed today that he can be a major improvement from that.
Philadelphia’s defensive effort was surprisingly impressive. Didi Gregorius, who owns just a .947 fielding percentage, made key plays at shortstop. Travis Jankowski didn’t let many baseballs land and made a tremendous sliding catch in center. One of the most impressive plays came from Jean Segura when it was still a close game in the fifth.
The offense as a whole woke up and gave Gibson more than enough support. Six Phillies players ended up with multi-hit games. They collected 20 total hits. Seven of their first eight runs came with two outs and they hit 10-for-26 with runners in scoring position. Jankowski got it started with a double in the first inning. He came around to score on a two-out single from J.T. Realmuto who finished the day with five hits and four RBIs.
Segura added on in the second inning with a two-run double. Not long after Odubel Herrera’s seven-pitch at-bat that resulted in a long sacrifice fly, Segura had a strong at-bat of his own. He worked a nine-pitch at-bat and smoked a ball to deep left-center field for his second double of the day. This one made it 6-1 in the top of the sixth before the Phillies added seven more runs in the next two innings.
His partner in the middle infield, Gregorius, had a much-needed bounce-back performance (3-for-5, three RBIs). Hopefully, that improves his confidence. The Phillies could use a resurgence from him at the plate. If he can build upon this, he won’t have to worry about losing his job to Freddy Galvis once he returns.
The Phillies climbed back into second place with this win and will try to carry this momentum into an important series with the Washington Nationals. That precedes a series at home against the New York Mets, which will have significant implications for the NL East race.
Shibe Vintage Sports Starting Pitching Performance
Mitch Keller: 5 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 0 BB, 2 SO, 80 pitches
Keller paid for hanging breaking balls early on. The Phillies struggled to take advantage of mistakes in the first two games of this series but made the adjustment today with three extra-base hits in the first three innings. The box score won’t show it but Keller surrendered some pretty hard-hit balls that fortunately resulted in outs.
Kyle Gibson: 6 2/3 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 5 SO, 113 pitches
Known for pitching to contact, Gibson did just that. He made it through the first two innings on just 17 pitches. Ironically, he walked the opposing pitcher to start the rally in the third inning but held Pittsburgh to one run. Outside of that, he didn’t run into much trouble and silenced the Pirates lineup. His breaking pitches were especially effective.
Phillies Nugget Of The Game
Nine of the Phillies’ 20 hits were doubles. It’s the most doubles for the Phillies in one game since June 23, 1986 against the Chicago Cubs at home. Jamie Moyer was the losing pitcher for the Cubs.
Ticket IQ Next Game
- Monday, Aug. 2 vs. Washington Nationals at Nationals Park
- 7:05 p.m. ET
- TV: NBC Sports Philadelphia; ESPN (out-of-market only)
- Radio: SportsRadio 94 WIP
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