Photo via Phillies Facebook
Despite being handed a 9-4 setback Sunday afternoon, the Phillies continue to find ways to win baseball games as they take 2 of their 3 game set against the Cincinnati Reds this weekend. A real key for the Phillies thus far has been their penchant for getting contributions from everyone in the lineup to everyone on the pitching staff. Here’s how the fun weekend went in the books for the Phils:
In yet another one run ballgame, the Phillies managed to edge Cincy 3-2 on the strength of rock solid pitching Friday night. Jeremy Hellickson’s performance was masterful in game 1 as he struck out 9 and did not allow an earned run in over 7 innings of work. In addition to this, the right-handed Hellickson, Hector Neris and Jeanmar Gomez held the Reds to just 4 hits for the night. The last time we saw Hellickson, he struggled with both command and location of his pitches against the Marlins but in this particular outing, he had it all working well and his contributions for the night didn’t just end on the mound. The 29 year-old starter also scored the eventual winning run on a squeeze bunt play as rookie left fielder Tyler Goeddel touched home for the Phillies 3 run of the ballgame.
Other players that had notable nights were Phils’ right fielder Peter Bourjos (2-3) and the recently recalled Tommy Joseph, who made his major league debut in the win. Joseph, 24, had 3 at-bats and was eventually replaced defensively by utility man Andres Blanco, but the rookie did take some good hacks as he saw 14 pitches in those 3 trips.
Did you know?
Jeremy Hellickson’s 9 strikeouts in game 1 were the most he has thrown in a game since July of 2013, according to Reds beat writer Mark Sheldon.
Not to be outdone by a strong outing from Hellickson on Friday night, Aaron Nola would take the ball for the Phillies the following night and be equally as magnificent. The 22 year-old righty would go 7 strong innings where he gave up just 5 hits, while fanning 9 batters. Nola did load the bases in the opening inning but managed to get out of the jam unscathed as he surrendered just 1 run in the inning. The Reds had multiple opportunities to jump out and take the lead from the Phillies and had said opportunities right up until the final stanza.
Trying to rally in the 9th inning, the Reds would see the game end on a frantic double play where one of their players was tagging up on a fly ball to left field. Phillies rookie Tyler Goeddel made the catch on the potential sac fly and came up throwing a bullet to catcher Cameron Rupp. As the throw came to the plate, the Reds’ player slammed into Rupp as he caught the ball in a bang, bang play. Rupp was able to hold onto the ball and make the tag and thus, ending the game giving the Phillies their 22nd win of the season.
Did you know?
According to Reds beat writer Mark Sheldon, the Phillies have dominated the Reds at Citizen Bank Ballpark, going 9-0-1 in home series vs. Cincinnati since 2006.
Phillies starter Adam Morgan was knocked around a bit today both by the Reds bats and by his club’s unforced errors. Morgan only managed to go 3 innings and some change in the loss and ended the day with an ERA hovering around 7. Brett Oberholtzer, Colton Murray and Elvis Araujo relived Morgan and were able to somewhat negate the Reds’ flow as they had just one big inning in the game.
Phillies third baseman Maikel Franco went 3-5 with 3 RBI on the day but his efforts weren’t enough in a Phillies comeback bid. Sunday’s loss will serve as a subtle reminder of how Philadelphia will need to win ball games this season; through excellent pitching and sound situational baseball will likely be the only way this team can maintain their current pace as they aren’t talented enough to out-talent anyone. With that said, however, the club is off to a fantastic start this season and a better one than anyone could have realistically expected.
Did you know?
In Sunday’s loss, the Phillies stranded a total of 16 runners on base in the game.