Final Score: Rays 3, Phillies 1
Tuesday night was the most competitive the Phillies have looked against the Tampa Bay Rays in two years. It doesn’t mean much in the end as the Phillies dropped the opener of a two-game series against the American League’s best team. It’s the Phillies’ sixth consecutive loss against the Rays, dating back to the final weekend of the 2020 season.
Starter Ranger Suárez matched career highs in innings, pitches thrown and strikeouts in a start in what was his finest outing since moving to the rotation.
But even the hottest of offenses could have trouble against the talented Rays bullpen. Drew Rasmussen pitched well as the starter, going five innings and allowing only one run. A tie game is usually enough for the Rays’ bullpen and the scuffling offense looked overmatched against Tampa Bay’s carousel of wacky arms. Andrew Kittredge was a foul ball away from an immaculate inning in the eighth. The Rays bullpen combined to strikeout seven Phillies hitters.
Archie Bradley, who has been a reliable back end arm for Joe Girardi since his return from injury, gave up multiple earned runs in an outing for the first time since May 20. First baseman Nelson Cruz (you read that right) drove in three runs with an RBI single to left center field. Left fielder Odúbel Herrera took a poor route to the ball and as a result, the second run scored and Cruz was able to take second. The original scoring on the play was a single, RBI and E7. It was later changed to a double.
The Braves lost their second consecutive game against the Yankees, which means the Phillies remain 4.5 games back of Atlanta for first place in the NL East. Atlanta has two straight days off on their schedule, so the Phillies have a chance to cut the lead to 3.5 games by winning two straight games without scoreboard watching.
Since the eight-game winning streak ended on Aug. 10, the Phillies have yet to win back-to-back games.
Shibe Vintage Sports Starting Pitching Performance
Drew Rasmussen: 5 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 SO, 58 pitches
Rasmussen isn’t stretched out like a traditional starter, so five innings and around 60 pitches was probably his limit. Behind some stellar defense all around, he was able to limit the Phillies to just one run and give way to the best bullpen in MLB.
Ranger Suárez: 6 2/3 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 7 SO, 99 pitches
Suárez is a sinker-heavy lefty who throws strikes, but doesn’t miss a ton of bats often. Naturally, good lineups will rack up a lot of hits against him and Suárez will have to counter with getting ground balls in tough spots. That’s what happened in the first and fourth innings as two big ground ball double plays were the difference for him in this game. The Rays offense is prone to striking out at a high rate, so Suárez was able to rack up a career-high seven strikeouts.
Phillies Nugget Of The Game
Rays shortstop and superstar prospect Wander Franco became the first player born in the 21st century to appear in a major league game at Citizens Bank Park. Franco was born on March 1, 2001 in Baní, Dominican Republic.
- Prior to Tuesday’s game, the Phillies activated infielder Freddy Galvis (strained right quadriceps) from the 10-day injured list and right-handed pitcher Sam Coonrod (right forearm tendinitis) from the 60-day injured list. To make room on the roster, right-handed pitcher Enyel De Los Santos was optioned to Triple-A Lehigh Valley and outfielder Jorge Bonifacio was designated for assignment.
- Joe Girardi announced that Zach Eflin will come off the injured list and start Thursday against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
- Phillies president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski announced a wide range of changes to the Phillies’ baseball operations department before Tuesday’s game.
Ticket IQ Next Game
- Wednesday, August 25 vs. Tampa Bay Rays at Citizens Bank Park
- 7:05 p.m. ET
- TV: NBC Sports Philadelphia
- Radio: SportsRadio 94 WIP
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