Final Score: Phillies 9, Angels 7
In what will probably go down as one of the best Phillies wins of the last 10 years, rookie Bryson Stott secured a sweep of the Los Angeles Angels on a three-run walk-off shot while down to his final strike. Fellow Las Vegas native Bryce Harper tied it up in the eighth on a grand slam to the second deck in right field against the prized free-agent closer of the previous offseason, Raisel Iglesias.
While the Phillies (25-29) have a long way to go before they are squarely back in the playoff picture, a thrilling victory like this one should reinvigorate a ballclub that has been beaten down after suffering debilitating loss after debilitating loss. Before Sunday, the Phillies had gotten three game-tying or go-ahead home runs in the eighth inning or later dating back to May 24. They dropped all three of those games in crushing fashion.
Corey Knebel (and Rhys Hoskins) almost made it four straight losses, but Stott’s hit made everyone forget about the stressful top half of the ninth.
Oh, and the Phillies are 3-0 with Rob Thomson as manager.
Angels’ pricey bullpen falters
There’s been a lot of recent talk about the Phillies’ roster construction and where the front office could have allocated resources more effectively. If the Phillies were all-in on beefing up the bullpen, the unit would have looked similar to what the Angels currently have at the backend. The trio of Ryan Tepera, Aaron Loup and Iglesias were signed to a combined $89 million last offseason. All three are in the middle of somewhat unspectacular seasons so far.
Things turned ugly in the eighth. Command troubles from Loup and a costly throwing error gave way to an opportunity for Bryce Harper to tie the game with the bases loaded. He came back from down 0-2 against Iglesias and on the seventh pitch of the at-bat, launched a middle-middle changeup into the second-deck in right field for a grand slam. It was probably the most electrifying moment of the season — until Stott matched it an inning later.
Second time struggles
Kyle Gibson struggled with command in the fourth when the Angels lineup turned over. It’s a reoccurring theme for the 34-year-old, who now has a 8.85 ERA while facing a batting order the second time through. That’s 20 runs in 20 1/3 innings. He’s allowed a combined eight earned runs the first and third time through a batting order.
After facing the minimum through three, Gibson allowed the first four batters he faced to come around and score. A Matt Duffy single, Shohei Ohtani double and a walk from Mike Trout loaded the bases for Jared Walsh, who singled home two runs to break the scoreless tie. Another run came in on an infield single from Jo Adell. The speedy Adell ran down the first base line and fielded a soft ground ball on a hop. His first instinct was to throw to second, but the only play he had was to first and Adell beat the throw rather easily. Gibson was pulled from the game three batters later.
Of the four ground balls hit that inning, only two resulted in an out being recorded.
Shibe Vintage Sports Notes
- Outfielder Roman Quinn, who was designated for assignment on June 1, has cleared waiver and was outrighted to Triple-A Lehigh Valley. Quinn has elected free agency.
- Johan Camargo left the game after injuring his right knee on the basepaths in the eighth. Didi Gregorius, who was only available in an emergency situation, replaced him in the top of the ninth. Rob Thomson said Camargo is day-to-day.
- Per Leo Morgenstern of Inside the Phillies, Philadelphia has won more games this year against teams from Los Angeles (seven), then they’ve had against NL East opponents (six).
Ticket IQ Next Game
- Tuesday, June 7 vs. Milwaukee Brewers at American Family Field
- 8: 10 p.m. ET
- TV: NBC Sports Philadelphia
- Radio: Sportsradio WIP
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