Phillies Nation

2022 Postgame Recaps

Bryce Harper’s offensive outburst not enough as Phillies melt down in bottom of the ninth


Bryce Harper had a big game Tuesday. (Jeff Robinson/Icon Sportswire)

Final Score: Braves 6, Phillies 5

Coming into the season, the two question marks on the Philadelphia Phillies roster looked to be the defense and the bullpen, and those weaknesses struck at the same time tonight in a 6-5 loss to the Atlanta Braves.

Stranding seven runners in three innings — four of whom were in scoring position — is not usually a recipe for success, and that’s what the Phillies did through eighth innings.

However, having Bryce Harper — who has been as productive as anyone in baseball over the past season plus — in the lineup means you are never truly out of a game.

The reigning NL MVP did his part Tuesday, bringing in four of the five runs the Phillies scored, and he delivered what looked to be the game-deciding blow; a one-out, two-run home run in the top of the ninth to give the Phillies the lead:

Entering the bottom of the ninth with a 5-4 lead, Nick Nelson returned to the mound after a scoreless eighth inning. The team’s usual highest-leverage options were not available:

A leadoff double by Dansby Swanson followed by an error in the outfield on what should have been a routine fly ball off the bat of Ronald Acuña Jr. allowed the Braves to tie the game:

The next batter, William Contreras, singled to bring Acuña home and win it for Atlanta. The Phillies fall to 20-23 with the loss, and they are tied with the Braves for second in the NL East.

When The Phillies Threatened, The Braves Always Responded

In the top of the sixth inning, the Phillies had back-to-back doubles from Alec Bohm and Harper to tie the game with one out. But J.T. Realmuto struck out with the bases loaded and two outs, preventing the Phillies from putting up a crooked number (or taking the lead):

One batter later, they would no longer hold the lead.

In the bottom half of the sixth, James Norwood replaced Kyle Gibson on the mound. On a 3-2 pitch, Realmuto called for a slider, but Norwood shook him off in favor of a fastball, which Matt Olson crushed off the foul pole for his fifth home run of the season:

Norwood proceeded to allow the next three batters to reach on two singles and a walk before being pulled for Andrew Bellatti.

Bellatti allowed a sacrifice fly sandwiched by two strikeouts to get out of the bases loaded, no out jam with only one run allowed, keeping the Phillies within striking distance.

When Harper delivered in the ninth, the Phillies took hold of all the momentum in the ballgame, needing only three outs to shut things down. But Swanson’s leadoff double immediately swung the momentum back towards the Braves, and the miscommunication between Quinn and Castellanos was the back-breaker for the Phillies.

Game of inches

In a one-run game, there’s a few plays that change the outcome of the ballgame, and the Phillies just missed on a couple balls that could have potentially made Tuesday a stress-free win.

Roman Quinn led off the top of the third with a flyout to the warning track. The ball had an exit velocity of 101 mph and expected batting average of .610:

One inning later, Jean Segura hit a high flyball that lost steam at the warning track in left field. His ball had an exit velocity of 105.4 mph, and it looked like a home run off the bat:

The ball would’ve been long gone at most places, not just Citizens Bank Park. Truist Park is one of only five MLB stadiums that would have kept the ball in the park:

Castellanos’ cold spell continues

Nick Castellanos hit his last home run on May 10. At the conclusion of that ballgame, he was hitting .311 with a .906 OPS. Since that game, he is eight for 55 (.145). His average for the season is down to .255.

Tonight, Castellanos came to the plate with a runner in scoring position in the sixth and seventh innings, and he struck out both times. That has been a trend for him this season, as he has really struggled with runners in scoring position, hitting .105 in 19 plate appearances.

This is probably more of a rough patch than a sign of long-term concern for Castellanos — who signed a five year, $100 million dollar contract — but the Phillies are expecting much more from their cleanup hitter. To this point, he and Kyle Schwarber haven’t consistently added the thump that the Phillies expected.

Shibe Vintage Sports Starting Pitching Performance

  • Max Fried: 6 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 5 SO, 0 HR, 99 pitches

Fried had three 1-2-3 innings, and allowed a single in the fourth that didn’t amount to anything. The Phillies were able to do some damage to Fried in the second and sixth innings, but the lefty pitched out of those situations, allowing only two runs and stranding four runners on base, with three of those runners being in scoring position.

After walking Schwarber to load the bases with two outs in the sixth, Brian Snitker went to the mound and it appeared Fried’s night was over. However, he remained in the game, and he was able to strike out Realmuto to keep the game tied.

  • Kyle Gibson: 5 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 8 SO, 0 HR, 106 pitches

Gibson struggled in the second inning, and didn’t have his best stuff for most of the night, but he clutched up in dangerous situations and left the Phillies in a good position to win the ballgame. All seven hits he allowed were singles, and four of them came in the two-run second inning. His ERA is a respectable 3.94 on the season, and he has pitched into the sixth inning in seven of his 10 starts. For a middle to back of the rotation arm, the Phillies will take those numbers from Gibson.

Phillies Nugget Of The Game

Tonight was the third time this year that James Norwood has pitched 1/3 of an inning or less and allowed two or more earned runs. His ERA is now 8.53 in 12 2/3 IP and 15 appearances out of the bullpen.

Ticket IQ Next Game

  • Wednesday, May 25 vs. Atlanta Braves at Truist Park
  • 7:20 p.m. ET
  • TV: NBC Sports Philadelphia
  • Radio: SportsRadio 94 WIP, WTTM1680

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5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Matt

    May 25, 2022 at 12:08 am

    Nobody kills this team more than it’s idiot manager! How long must we endure this man’s BS?!!

    • Rings Starr

      May 25, 2022 at 1:06 am

      I am done with the Phillies until Girardi is gone.
      No more $$ from me. Been to over 500 games in my life. Never have boycotted before but we are now in unprecedented times. Girardi is hideously bad.

    • PopPop1946

      May 25, 2022 at 10:00 am

      Amen to that

  2. Dg

    May 25, 2022 at 1:29 am

    Why do you blame Joe G?

  3. Rob

    May 25, 2022 at 6:36 am

    Start with using his closer in a 4-run game with the result being he’s not available in a 1-run game the next day.

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