The Phillies won today. That's the first and most important thing you need to know about this game. After a nine-game losing streak, a win is something we need to celebrate in order to maintain sanity.
But, as you might suspect, simply reporting that the Phillies won a game does not suffice for a game recap.
You might have been surprised to read the headline of this post and see that the Phillies won by a score of 2-1 in a game in which the two starting pitchers were Sean O'Sullivan (5.08 ERA entering today) and Bud Norris (8.29 ERA entering today). That is not a typo. Sean O'Sullivan gave up a leadoff home run to Manny Machado, which was the 142nd home run hit by the Orioles against the Phillies this series. But after that, the first five innings belonged to Sean O'Sullivan. By the end of the 4th inning, he had already tied his career high with 6 strikeouts. In the 5th inning, he broke new ground as he struck out Travis Snyder to record his 7th strikeout of the game, a feat even more spectacular when you consider the following tweet from Corinne Landry of Crashburn Alley:
Sean O'Sullivan just struck out his 7th batter of the day. He struck out seven in his previous five starts (29.1 IP) combined.— Corinne (@Ut26) June 18, 2015
But, as they say, nothing gold can stay, and Ryne Sandberg elected to remove O'Sullivan from the game after 5 innings even though he had only thrown 80 pitches. The CSN cameras showed a clearly upset O'Sullivan in the dugout after receiving that news, adding to a rapidly growing list of instances of Phillies players publicly showing displeasure with coaches.
Jake Diekman came in for O'Sullivan mere hours after being recalled from Lehigh Valley and held the Orioles scoreless in a 1-2-3 inning. He threw 15 pitches, 9 for strikes, and, importantly, and maybe significantly, didn't walk anyone.
In the bottom of the 6th, the Phillies offense was finally able to do good things. Ben Revere led off and reached base by beating out a high chopper. He then stole second and advanced to third on a Maikel Franco ground out. What came next was unambiguously fun.
That gave the Phillies a 2-1 lead, and the bullpen was able to hold it for the next three innings.
In the 7th, Luis Garcia got into a bit of trouble after Chase Utley overthrew Freddy Galvis on what was likely a double play ball to allow the Orioles to have runners at 1st and 3rd with one out. On a healthy dose of sliders, Garcia was able to strikeout Manny Machado and Travis Snyder to get out of the inning without allowing any runs to score.
Ken Giles pitched an uneventful, and, therefore, encouraging 8th inning against the middle of the Orioles lineup. He got Chris Parmelee, he of 20 home runs in this series, to fly out before striking out Chris Davis. After a J.J. Hardy single, Ryan Howard made a nice-looking diving play on a Ryan Flaherty grounder to end the inning.
In case you forgot over the course of the last couple weeks, the ninth inning is Papelbon time:
Papelbon retired Nolan Reimold, David Lough, and Matt Wieters 1-2-3 for his 338th career save. He is now 3 saves away from tying Rollie Fingers for 12th on the all-time saves leaderboard. It was his first save since June 7th.
Comment of the Game: "The 2015 Phillies Musical: First Inning Runz for All! or Every Man a Kyle Kendrick! Get your tickets now!" -- tommg
- After the game, there was a bit of a short-lived Cole Hamels trade scare:
Cole Hamels' locker is empty, name plate gone. Not sure if it's a joke.— Rob Maaddi Sports (@AP_RobMaaddi) June 18, 2015
Cole Hamels was NOT traded, per team spokesman. Whoever removed his name plate & stuff did so as a joke.— Rob Maaddi Sports (@AP_RobMaaddi) June 18, 2015
Fair play to the Phillies for orchestrating an actual prank on the media.
- As mentioned earlier, Phillippe Aumont will start tomorrow in place of the not-traded Cole Hamels. He offered this preview, via Lehigh Valley Beat Reporter Tom Housenick, "Can't say it's going to be the prettiest thing." Set a reminder on your cable box post haste.
- If you haven't done so, listen to the first edition of The Good Phight radio featuring John Stolnis and Phillies Beat Writer Kevin Cooney. They discuss the current state of disarray in the Phillies organization. An uplifting edition, to say the least.
- In addition to his throwing error in the 7th inning, Chase Utley went 0-for-4 with a strikeout. He is now hitting .181 on the season and .140 in June. His early-May hot streak is now well in the rearview mirror. He has the 2nd worst batting average and wRC+ among qualified hitters. It seems very possible that that May surge was his last hurrah at age 36.
- Ben Revere went 2-for-4 today. He is now hitting .350 (22-for-63) in June.
- Today saw evidence that Phillies Full-Time Analytics Intern Lewie Pollis exists. He was sitting behind home plate in either a pink or purple dress shirt, as seen in the cell phone picture of a television embedded below. They have done it. The Phillies are now at least nominal citizens of the 21st Century: