Phillies Nation

2022 Postgame Recaps

Phillies fall to Dodgers in heartbreaking walk-off fashion


Corey Knebel could not get the save in Sunday’s loss against the Dodgers. (Photo by Brandon Sloter/Icon Sportswire)

Final Score: Dodgers 5, Phillies 4

LOS ANGELES — Baseball has a way of bringing itself full circle. 

When Los Angeles Dodgers second baseman Gavin Lux botched a grounder in the second inning, which would’ve ended the frame but instead led to four unearned runs, the Philadelphia Phillies looked destined for an improbable sweep. 

But Lux stepped to the plate with two outs in the bottom of the ninth and the chance to wipe his slate clean. 

He delivered. 

Lux’s walk-off two-run double into the right field corner gave the Dodgers the win, ruining the Phillies’ chances at a four-game sweep in a weekend series that was still an overwhelming success, but was one strike away from being that much sweeter.

———

The Phillies’ first three wins of the series came on the strength of their offense, a blueprint that was more or less anticipated as the usual path to victory for this team. They entered the ninth inning on Sunday with a chance to earn a win in a manner that was the opposite of anticipated for the 2022 Phillies: defense. 

Where the Phillies played strong defense on Sunday — more on that later — the Dodgers did not. Much like on Saturday, a two-out error early in the ballgame proved costly for the home team. With two on in the second inning, Bryson Stott hit a grounder to Lux’s left that scooted between his legs and into right field, scoring Jean Segura (who had singled) from second. 

But that was only the beginning. Garrett Stubbs, who has thus far made the most of his opportunities on J.T. Realmuto’s off days, hit a ground-rule double to right field that scored Johan Camargo from second and likely would’ve also brought Stott around had it remained in play. 

No matter. Rhys Hoskins made up for the unfortunate bounce with a two-run single on an 0-2 pitch to drive in Stott and Stubbs. All of a sudden, a half inning that should’ve ended scoreless instead saw the Phillies already ahead by four. 

The Dodgers chipped away at that deficit, beginning with Mookie Betts’ solo homer in the third on an Aaron Nola cutter that caught far too much of the plate — especially considering there were two outs, and Betts was ahead 2-0 in the count. 

They continued chipping away in the fourth, but it could have been more of a chunk — if you will. A Trea Turner walk and back-to-back singles by Will Smith and Max Muncy made it 4-2 with runners still on first and second and no outs, the Dodgers severely threatening. 

Johan Camargo had other plans.

Justin Turner laced a 96-mph grounder to Camargo’s left, but the first-year Phillie made an incredible diving snag before firing to Segura at second, kickstarting a 5-4-3 double play that Hoskins capped with a nice scoop on a medium hop at first.

It was the second nice pick of the day by Hoskins at first base, after a backhanded scoop had saved a run in the first. It was also the first of two highlight-reel plays by the left side of the Phillies infield; Stott provided the second with an incredible leaping snowcone grab that kept speedster Trea Turner off the basepaths to lead off the sixth. 

“Unbelievable,” Phillies manager Joe Girardi said postgame of Stott’s grab. “That’s an unbelievable play. There were a lot of good plays today.”

The Phillies threatened in the seventh, despite a leadoff walk by Hoskins being erased on an Alec Bohm double play. Kyle Schwarber and Nick Castellanos both walked before Segura singled, bringing up Odúbel Herrera with a chance to somewhat break it open. 

It didn’t go that way. Herrera, who had taken a called third strike right down the middle in the second inning, swung at a pitch that literally went between his legs, bringing the count to 2-2 instead of 3-1 before an eventual groundout. 

Nola got some help in the seventh by some combination of Stubbs, Stott and the Replay Operations Center in New York. With Chris Taylor trying to steal second, Stott made a backhanded pick and swipe tag on Stubbs’ throw down. Much to the chagrin of Dodgers fans, the initial safe call was overturned, despite evidence that may not have seemed conclusive. 

In any case, it ended the inning and Nola’s night. The Dodgers made things tense in the bottom of the eighth against Jeurys Familia, as a Betts RBI double — on a play Camargo would probably say he should make — brought the score to 4-3. After a Freeman walk put two on with no outs, Familia induced a massive 5-4-3 double play before a nice sliding stop by Segura up the middle stranded Betts at third to preserve the lead. 

All things considered, the inning could have been much, much worse for the Phillies, but it gave them no margin for error in the ninth. It was Familia’s second straight rough outing, the first coming in Friday’s ninth-inning blown save.

“If I brought in a left-hander, I felt they would pinch hit for Lux,” Girardi said of the decision to turn to Familia, adding that Seranthony Domínguez was unavailable. “Familia, he’s a guy that’s pitched at the back end. Brad [Hand] has been used a lot, [José] Alvarado has been used a lot. So that’s why I did it.” 

But despite Familia’s struggles and the lead shrinking to one, after Corey Knebel induced two straight flyouts to begin the bottom of the ninth, crisis seemed averted. 

Oh, it was not. 

Cody Bellinger’s two-out triple and Chris Taylor’s subsequent walk — which each came in two-strike counts — put the tying run on third and the winning run on first, bringing none other than Gavin Lux up to the plate with the chance to tie it — or more. 

More, it was. Lux’s double into the right field corner scored both runners — both of them easily, because Taylor was running on the pitch — and an inning that had the Dodgers down to their last strike with the bases empty ended in heartbreak for the Phillies. 

“He was really good the first two hitters,” Girardi said of Knebel. “I think he just missed a couple spots. It’s unfortunate because he’s been pitching really well.”

It was still a widely positive four-game series for the Phillies, but it was a brutal way to end it. They’re now back under .500 at 17-18 on the season.

“Obviously, it’s a tough one to swallow. We’re one out away from winning the game. But I think you have to keep things in perspective,” Girardi said. “You go on a West Coast trip and you go 5-2 against the Mariners and the Dodgers, that’s a good trip.”

Shibe Vintage Sports Starting Pitching Performance

Michael Grove: 3 2/3 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 3 SO, 0 HR, 70 pitches

Grove was not as bad in his Major League debut as the scoreboard when he departed suggested. Not only were all four of those second-inning runs unearned, but the pitches themselves on each of the Phillies’ four hits that same inning were all decent — all were in the lower third of the zone, and two were on the black. The Phillies just did a good job going down and getting them, and at bats that maybe shouldn’t have taken place (due to Gavin Lux’s two-out error) ended in trouble. Baseball: cruel game.

Aaron Nola: 7 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 8 SO, 1 HR, 108 pitches

Nola was able to use his curveball and good-enough fastball command to keep the Dodgers off balance, and the infield defense behind him certainly helped his cause on multiple occasions. Encouragingly, he maintained his effectiveness deep into the ballgame. He’s done that more regularly in a six-game stretch that’s seen him post a 2.87 ERA, dropping his season mark to 3.38. Nola also accomplished a bit of Phillies history in his outing, when his fifth-inning strikeout of Betts moved him past Jim Bunning for seventh on the franchise’s all-time strikeout leaderboard with 1,198.

Phillies Nugget Of The Game

That aforementioned six-game stretch for Nola has not translated into team success, as the Phillies have lost each of those six. They’re 1-7 in his starts this season, arguably through little fault of his own. The Phillies have received five starts this season of at least seven innings and at most two earned runs. The team is 1-4 in those games. 

“Aaron’s pitched really well,” Girardi said. “His luck is just not very good.”

Ticket IQ Next Game

  • Tuesday, May 17 vs. San Diego Padres at Citizens Bank Park
  • 6:45 p.m. ET
  • TV: NBC Sports Philadelphia
  • Radio: Sportsradio 94 WIP, WTTM1680

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. William

    May 15, 2022 at 9:17 pm

    Phils really need Harper bat , more that it’s his presence in the Lineup that forces others teams to pitch other player
    Phillies WILL NOT be a playoff with cast offs masquerading has closer.

  2. Steve

    May 15, 2022 at 11:09 pm

    EVEN THOUGHT THEY LOST THE FINAL GAME
    THE TEAM SHOWED THEY CAN WIN AND WIN
    AGAINST ONE OF THE BEST. SURE STILL
    SOME PROBLEMS, BUT SOME HOPE ALSO!

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