2021 Postgame Recaps

Phillies take first place thanks to big swing from their MVP candidate

Final Score: Phillies 4, Mets 2

For the first time in a decade, the Phillies have a chance to win the NL East. For the first time in a long time, Citizens Bank Park erupted after one swing gave the Phillies a division lead.

Bryce Harper hit his 19th home run of the season on Friday. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire)

The Phillies were up 2-1, but it didn’t feel like it was enough to keep the Mets from taking the lead in the ninth. Bryce Harper, who was 0-for-3, stepped in to face Mets closer Edwin Díaz. He destroyed a 1-0 fastball to center field. Díaz innocuously raised his hand to signify a fly ball, but the ball was inevitably heading for the bushes.

Harper came back out for the ninth to MVP chants in right field. It’s what the front office dreamed about when they signed the superstar slugger to a 13 year contract.

Didi Gregorius’ 10th home run of the season opened up the scoring. It was a 410 foot shot that landed in the second deck. Unfortunately, Gregorius came out of the game in the eighth after getting hit by a pitch in the sixth.

Walks were Kyle Gibson’s Achilles heel in Friday’s game. Two free passes to Brandon Nimmo and Pete Alonso gave Dominic Smith an RBI chance. Smith, who loves hitting against the Phillies, singled to score the Mets’ first run with two outs in the third.

More trouble ensued for Gibson in the fourth. An error on a grounder to Brad Miller gave the Mets first and third with no outs. After getting ahead 0-2 to the eight-hole hitter Tomás Nido, Gibson lost him and walked him to load the bases. He struck out the opposing pitcher Marcus Stroman on three pitches and on the first pitch, Nimmo grounded into a nifty 4-6-3 double play. The entire infield and Gibson were fired up.

But Gibson, who has spent his entire career in the American League prior to being traded by the Phillies, helped himself in the fifth. Gibson got ahead 2-0 against Stroman and grounded a pitch to the right of Javier Báez for his first RBI in the majors. Miller scored from third, who reached on a triple that nearly carried over the wall in right field.

A solo home run from former Phillies prospect Jonathan Villar put the Mets within two, but it didn’t matter much as Ian Kennedy was able to retire the next three hitters out relatively easily.

The Phillies are now five games over .500 after winning six in a row. They now lead the NL East by a half game.

Shibe Vintage Sports Starting Pitching Performance

Marcus Stroman: 5 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 5 SO, 1 HR, 91 pitches

Command was a big issue for Stroman in his last outing against the Phillies in June. It was a lot better tonight, but he had some efficiency problems and as a result, he was out of the game after five innings. He did do an excellent job at cooling down the middle of the Phillies order. Segura, Harper and Realmuto combined to go 0-for-7 against Stroman. It’s a big reason why the Mets were still in the game when he departed.

Kyle Gibson: 6 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 4 BB, 3 SO, 100 pitches

Was Gibson’s first outing in Philadelphia as a Phillie spectacular? No. Was it eventful? Yes. The Phillies will take six innings of one run ball every time from Gibson. A few misplays in the infield should tell Joe Girardi that the best infielders should be playing when a ground ball heavy pitcher like Gibson pitches. The good thing is that Gibson showed tonight that he’s able to make up for his teammates and make pitches in tight spots.

Phillies Nugget Of The Game

Gregorius became the sixth Phillie to reach double digit home runs in 2021, joining Harper, Miller, Realmuto, Rhys Hoskins and Andrew McCutchen. They’re in a three-way tie with the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres for the fourth most hitters with double digit home runs. The San Francisco Giants lead the way with eight players who have hit at least 10 home run.

Ticket IQ Next Game

  • Saturday, August 7 vs. New York Mets at Citizens Bank Park
  • 4:15 p.m. ET
  • TV: Fox Sports 1, NBC Sports Philadelphia
  • Radio: SportsRadio 94 WIP


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  8. Brian Barber On Mick Abel: ‘He’s Exactly What We Thought He Was Going To Be’
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