Final Score: Phillies 7, Diamondbacks 6
Friday, the Philadelphia Phillies did something that’s seemingly been impossible over the last two weeks — they defeated the lowly Arizona Diamondbacks.
That’s not to say that a win Friday was stress free — far from it, really.
Bryce Harper built on his case for National League MVP in the third inning when he hit a two-run home run to the opposite field off of Diamondbacks starter Taylor Widener:
However, the Phillies didn’t do much outside of Harper’s home run in the first five frames, leaving the door cracked open for the Diamondbacks.
Josh Rojas tripled in Nick Ahmed in the top of the sixth inning, knocking Aaron Nola out of the game. Connor Brogdon came in to relieve Nola, and while he went 1 2/3 innings without giving up a hit, Josh VanMeter did drive in the tying run off him with a sacrifice fly.
Fortunately for the Phillies, Brad Peacock walked Andrew McCutchen to lead off the bottom of the seventh inning. After Odúbel Herrera reached first base on an error by the usually sure-handed Ahmed, Jean Segura advanced each runner by grounding into a fielder’s choice. Torey Lovullo elected to walk Harper to load the bases, only for J.T. Realmuto to drive two runs in with a single:
The Phillies flirted with disaster in the top of the eighth inning, as Didi Gregorius made an error on a throw to first — one that seemingly should have been charged to Brad Miller — after Héctor Neris walked Jake McCarthy to begin the inning.
Luckily for the Phillies, Neris was able to escape the jam unscathed. The problem is that Ian Kennedy couldn’t do the same in the ninth inning, as he surrendered the game-tying home run off the bat of Norristown native Christian Walker after walking the leadoff batter:
Things got worse for the Phillies in the top of the 10th inning. After Ahmed sacrifice bunted McCarthy to third base, Ketel Marte — hitting .347 entering the at-bat — hit a pitch that Enyel De Los Santos grooved over the center of the plate 419 feet:
The decision to use De Los Santos in the 10th inning was initially perplexing, although Joe Girardi said after the game that Archie Bradley, wasn’t available Friday as he deals with shoulder soreness. The Phillies expect him to be available Saturday, but Girardi was especially short-handed this evening, with Sam Coonrod and José Alvarado also unavailable.
Still, it was pretty difficult to understand why Marte was pitched to with first base open.
Just as it appeared that the Phillies were playing out a 10-inning loss, Miller stepped to the plate with one out in the 10th and hit a game-tying home run off the facing of the second deck in right field:
To his credit, De Los Santos remained in the game for the top of the 11th inning and escaped with the score still tied at 6.
The home half of the 11th didn’t start out well for the Phillies as a poor bunt from Ronald Torreyes allowed Travis Jankowski to be thrown out at third base. But after a single from Herrera, Segura delivered a single into right field that allowed the Phillies to walk off with a Friday night victory:
Saturday, the Phillies will send Kyle Gibson to the mound, as he looks to assure that the Phillies at least split their weekend series, and move back above .500.
Shibe Vintage Sports Starting Pitching Performance
- Taylor Widener gave the Diamondbacks five solid innings in Game 2 of this weekend series, allowing five hits and two earned runs. He walked three, but the Phillies went 0-4 with runners in scoring position against the 26-year-old.
- Aaron Nola went 5 1/3 innings Friday evening, allowing three hits and two earned runs. He struck out seven batters, but left the game with 93 pitches with less than six innings completed. There have been a few occasions in 2021 where you’re left to wonder if Nola has struck out too many batters for his own good. Tom McCarthy also noted on the NBC Sports Philadelphia telecast that the 23 foul balls off Nola Friday hindered his ability to go deeper in the game.
Phillies Nugget Of The Game
Ticket IQ Next Game
- Saturday, Aug. 28 vs. Arizona Diamondbacks at Citizens Bank Park
- 6:05 p.m. ET
- TV: NBC Sports Philadelphia, MLB Network (out of market)
- Radio: SportsRadio 94 WIP
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