Final: Rockies 11, Phillies 2
The Philadelphia Phillies are in the thick of a pennant race as the 2021 season winds down, but it sure didn’t feel that way at Citizens Bank Park Friday night.
In today’s game, a bullpen game in September hardly means that you’re a bad team. But when the arm that you hoped to get multiple innings from only records one out, you’re probably in big trouble.
After Sam Coonrod set the Colorado Rockies down in order in the top of the first inning, Joe Girardi turned to Bailey Falter in the second inning, seemingly hoping to get at least two innings from the rookie lefty. Instead, Falter recorded just one out, allowing two walks, two hits and three earned runs.
To the credit of the Phillies, the game was still in reach after the 4 1/2 innings Friday, in part because Cam Bedrosian allowed only one hit over 1 2/3 innings. Heck, even Matt Moore — whose struggles as a starter prompted the Phillies to turn to a bullpen game every five days — only allowed one run over the course of two innings.
However, the Phillies failed to capitalize on a scoring opportunity in the home half of the fifth, with National League MVP candidate Bryce Harper striking out to end the inning, leaving two runners on base. Following the strikeout, Harper threw his helmet on the ground, perhaps frustrated with the increasing likelihood that the Phillies won’t reach the postseason in the first three years of his 13-year/$330 million deal.
Things got even worse for the Phillies in the top of the seventh inning. After a clean first inning of work, Ramón Rosso allowed back-to-back home runs off the bats of Trevor Story and C.J. Cron. The consecutive blasts traveled a combined 837 feet, extending the Rockies lead to 6-0:
In addition to Harper slamming his helmet, frustration boiled over for Brad Miller after he struck out looking with two runners on the eighth inning:
The Phillies would ultimately lose 11-2, as JD Hammer inherited a bases-loaded situation from Enyel De Los Santos in the top of the ninth inning, only for Elías Díaz to promptly unload them:
Didi Gregorius did hit a solo home run in the top of the ninth inning, with Harper adding an RBI single to help the Phillies to avoid a shutout. Still, the Phillies fell to 71-70 with a disastrous loss.
At some point, the Phillies need to go on a run if they hope to have a serious chance of reaching the postseason for the first time since 2011, whether it’s as the National League East Champions, or winners of the second Wild Card spot in the senior circuit. Seemingly, a four-game series against a Rockies team that entered the series with an 18-50 record in road games was their best opportunity to do that. Instead, the Phillies have lost the first two games of a crucial September series.
As you looked around Citizens Bank Park Friday night, it didn’t feel like 2007-2011. Heck, it didn’t feel like 2004-2006. In front of 22,138 fans, the Phillies fell to 3-6 in September, leaving you to wonder if a fourth consecutive swoon in the final month of the season is in store.
Shibe Vintage Sports Starting Pitching Performance
- Germán Márquez — who is tied with Zack Wheeler for the league lead in complete games at 3 — turned in a solid outing for Bud Black Friday. Across six innings, the 26-year-old limited the Phillies to six hits and no runs, while striking out six.
- Sam Coonrod got the ball as the Phillies opener, and while Charlie Blackmon did lead off by hitting a ball to the warning track in center field, it was ultimately a 1-2-3 top of the first.
Phillies Nugget Of The Game
Congrats to Crossing Broad‘s Bob Wankel on the birth of his first child:
Ticket IQ Next Game
- Saturday, Sept. 11 vs. Rockies at Citizens Bank Park
- 6:05 p.m. ET
- TV: NBC Sports Philadelphia
- Radio: SportsRadio 94 WIP
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