Final Score: Phillies 7, Nationals 5
Jean Segura and J.T. Realmuto (and the Nationals’ replacement level bullpen) saved the day. In a back-and-forth game that included four lead changes, Segura tied the game on an opposite-field RBI double and Realmuto gave them the lead with a bases-loaded single in the ninth.
Alec Bohm stole two more runs with a single and a smart play on the bases. Instead of running straight to second on a Didi Gregorius double play, Bohm got himself caught in a rundown long enough for Realmuto to come home and score the fifth run of the inning. The run turned out to be important as new Phillies closer Ian Kennedy surrendered a two-run home run in the ninth.
Speaking of Bohm, Monday was the young third baseman’s best all-around game of the season. He had two hits and an RBI at the plate and played extremely well at third base. A brilliant putout at third is among the highlights.
“[Realmuto] made it a long hop, so it was easy enough to just stretch out there and pick it,” Bohm said when asked about the play. “He put it close enough to me and I just kind of felt my way around the bag. I just kind of turned into a first baseman and I guess my past playing first helped that a little bit.”
It’s understandable if the words “bullpen game” make any Phillies fan feel a little sick. Ranger Suárez’s first start of the year was not advertised as a bullpen game, but that’s what Monday became since Suárez was limited to three innings. The Phillies are committed to gradually stretching him out as a starter. Joe Girardi said after the game that Suárez’s pitch count limit for his next start is around 65.
“We decided that was it,” Girardi said when asked about the decision to take Suárez out after three innings. “We contemplated it, but we didn’t feel it would hold him back for his next start. We were trying to be better safe than sorry.”
Odúbel Herrera’s solo home run in the fifth opened the scoring for the Phillies against Josiah Gray, who looked comfortable in his first outing as a National. Gray was acquired from the Dodgers in the deal that sent Max Scherzer and Trea Turner to Los Angeles.
In the top of the sixth, Girardi made the decision to pinch-hit Rhys Hoskins with the bases loaded and two outs. According to Scott Lauber of the Philadelphia Inquirer, Hoskins was running at 60-70% prior to the game. He ended up striking out to end the threat. The Phillies now do not have the option of backdating a possible IL stint by three days if it turns out Hoskins’ groin injury is more series than initially thought.
A half-inning later, pinch-hitter Andrew Stevenson tied the game for the Nats with a pinch-hit solo shot to right field off Enyel De Los Santos. With the help of Jose Alvarado, the Phillies were able to get out of the inning unscathed.
But the Phillies responded an inning later. A wild pitch from Andrés Machado to Brad Miller with the bases load brought home Segura, who represented the go-ahead run. Miller’s at-bat ended with a fly ball. Harper tagged up on the play, but was gunned down on a brilliant throw from Yadiel Hernández.
The Phillies’ early woes with runners in scoring position didn’t matter much as they were able to send eight men to the plate and score five runs on three hits with runners in scoring position in the ninth. They are now at .500 once again with a 53-53 record. More importantly, they are 2.5 games out of first place following a Mets loss to Miami.
Shibe Vintage Sports Starting Pitching Performance
Josiah Gray: 5 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 2 SO, 1 HR, 71 pitches
The book on Gray is that he is a fly ball heavy pitcher. He got six outs in the air tonight and looked comfortable pitching up in the zone with his fastball. Phillies fans will get to know him well over the years and if tonight’s outing is an indication of what Gray is capable of doing throughout his career, the 23-year-old will surely be tough to crack on any given night.
Ranger Suárez: 3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 SO, 33 pitches
The Phillies aimed to get around three innings from Suárez. The only problem was that he was so efficient, they probably could have gotten a little more out of him. Suárez easily maintained a fastball velocity of around 95 mph, which is a good sign if the plan is to keep him in the rotation for the remainder of the season. His command was shaky at times, but he was able to make up for it by getting the Nationals hitters to swing early in the count.
“He’s the best man,” Archie Bradley said. “I am so jealous of Ranger. He’s the coolest, calmest most collected guy I maybe have ever been around. Nothing fazes him. We joke around and [ask] if his heart rate ever gets above 100 because everything he does is just so cool.
“You look at the season he’s had: Long guy, setup man, closer and now he’s going back into the rotation. I think it’s just a testament to who Ranger is as a person. Obviously, what he can do on the field with his arm, but just the way he handles being a professional baseball player, I have a lot of respect for that guy.”
Since this was a bullpen heavy game, here are the pitching lines from the Phillies relievers that entered the game.
- Héctor Neris: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 SO, 26 pitches
- Enyel De Los Santos: 2/3 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 1 SO, 1 HR, 11 pitches
- José Alvarado: 2/3 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 1 SO, 19 pitches
- Archie Bradley: 1 2/3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 SO, 23 pitches
- Ian Kennedy: 1 IP, 1 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 1 SO, 1 HR, 24 pitches
Phillies Nugget Of The Game
Per the Phillies game notes, the Phillies had three left-handers start at least one game in a season for the first time since 2013. Cole Hamels, Cliff Lee and Raúl Valdés all logged at least one start that season.
Connor Brogdon was unavailable tonight due to bicep soreness. He hasn’t pitched since July 29. Girardi expects Brogdon to be available on Tuesday.
Ticket IQ Next Game
- Tuesday, Aug. 3 vs. Washington Nationals at Nationals Park
- 7:05 p.m. ET
- TV: NBC Sports Philadelphia
- Radio: SportsRadio 94 WIP
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