There were nine innings tonight, and each and every one was important in some way to the Phillies eventual 11-6 thrashing of Yankees. But I think the most important inning was the seventh. The Phillies and the Yankees were tied 6-6, and Luis Garcia, who's been slowly paring down his ERA since early-June, got himself into a little bit of trouble. He allowed a lead-off double to Carlos Beltran, who then went to third when Garrett Jones hit a groundout. Garcia tossed himself further into the Danger Zone when he walked Chris Young, putting men on the corners for Didi Gregorius.
This was the most important moment of the game. If Garcia allowed a groundout here, a run would most likely score and the Yankees would take the lead late in the game. His best bet was a double play, which was unfortunate since Gregorius has only hit into three double plays all year. But the other sure bet to prevent a run from scoring? Inducing a pop-up from Gregorius, which prevented any runners from advancing. The inning ended with recent Yankees call-up Jose Pirela striking out.
Regardless of what happened next, if Garcia hadn't gotten out of that inning, it would have been a lot harder for the Phillies to take the lead if the game was no longer tied.
But oh, what happened next.
It began with Ken Giles taking the mound in the top of the eighth. And it seemed like our old friend from 2014 was back.
According to MLB GameDay, Ken Giles’ fastball on the foul ball to Gardner clocked 100 m.p.h.— Jake Kaplan (@jakemkaplan) June 24, 2015
But not so fast!
Scratch that. Giles’ fastball to Gardner was 99.5 m.p.h. The wait for the first 100 of the season continues.— Jake Kaplan (@jakemkaplan) June 24, 2015
DELAYED GRATIFICATION. IT HURTS SO GOOD. But still, Ken Giles seems like he's back. This was his tenth straight scoreless outing, bringing his ERA down to 1.69 from a season high of 2.53 on May 30. That's all kinds of great.
The top of the ninth is when things got even more interesting. More interesting than Ken Giles, you make ask? You bet your sweet bippy.
Ben Revere led off the ninth with a double, and Cesar Hernandez was hit by a pitch. And then MAIKEL FRANCO came to the plate. And to anyone who thought he couldn't repeat what he did last night, I hope they're all bathing in the wrongness of their horrible, horrible opinions. He hit a two run double which put the Phillies up 8-6 on the Yankees. BEHOLD THE GLORY.
Francoeur got hit by a pitch (after Ryan Howard struck out), and that chased Yankees closer Dellin Betances, who had been out for his second inning of relief, from the game. Nick Rumbelow replaced him, and I believe Emma Span said it best:
Tonight's made-up sounding random Yankee relief pitcher name is "Nick Rumbelow."— Emma Span (@emmaspan) June 24, 2015
Rumbelow proceeded to hit Domonic Brown, and then gave up a triple (YEAR OF THE TRIPLE) to Andres Blanco. The Phillies had scored 11 runs to the Yankees' 6, and that's where they score would stay.
The night, once again, belonged to Maikel Franco. He hit a three-run home run in the fourth inning, and of course the two-run go-ahead double in the ninth. Get ready for this:
Last four games for Franco: 11/16, 3 HR, 2 2B, 2 BB, 1 HBP, my heart,— The Good Phight (@TheGoodPhight) June 24, 2015
And also there's this little stat:
Maikel Franco is the first Phillies player to have back-to-back five-RBI games since stat became official in 1920.— Todd Zolecki (@ToddZolecki) June 24, 2015
He was hit by a pitch in the seventh, which Larry Anderson angrily declared intentional and openly called for the Phillies to hit one of the Yankees batters in retaliation. Once the Phillies had retaken the lead, Larry changed his tune somewhat.
LA -"That's how you pay it back"— Franzke & LA (@FranzkeLA) June 24, 2015
As for the starting pitching, Sean O'Sullivan was... not great. He allowed single runs in the first, second, and third innings. And then in the fifth, Chase Headly and AROD hit back to back home runs. The Phillies didn't have the bullpen going quickly enough, and Carlos Beltran hit a double before O'Sullivan was taken out of the game. Beltran would eventually come around to score, tying the game. For keeping the rest of the game scoreless, credit goes to tonight's five-man bullpen team: Elvis Araujo, Jeanmar Gomez, Luis Garcia, Ken Giles, and Justin De Fratus.
Also of note: Cameron Rupp hit his first home run of the season, which was also his first major league home run. He got the scoring started in the fourth inning.
All hail MAIKEL FRANCO.
I've gone gay for Franco.— kenny loggins (@LONG_DRIVE) June 24, 2015
I agree. I heartily agree. And one more for the road.
Tonight's Phillies win clinched the team's first road series win of the season.— Jake Kaplan (@jakemkaplan) June 24, 2015