They don’t call them the Fightin’ Phils for nothing. This was a game, guys. This was a GAME.
It was a see-sawing affair that lasted nearly four hours, but the Phillies gutted it out and won 9-8 in 10 innings, sweeping the Diamondbacks and making them cry because they are bad. So weep, Diamondbacks, WEEP FOR THE PAST YOU CAN NEVER RECLAIM!!! Uh, I mean, something less crazy sounding than that. You fill in the blank!
Let’s look at how this game progressed, inning by inning.
First: Phillies 2, Diamondbacks 3
Second: Phillies 2, Diamondbacks 4
Third: Phillies 2, Diamondbacks 4
Fourth: Phillies 2, Diamondbacks 4
Fifth: Phillies 3, Diamondbacks 4
Sixth: Phillies 3, Diamondbacks 4
Seventh: Phillies 4, Diamondbacks 7
Eighth: Phillies 8, Diamondbacks 8
Ninth: Phillies 8, Diamondbacks 8
Tenth: Phillies 9, Diamondbacks 8
There were a number of failed comebacks, errors, great plays, pitching mistakes, etc, that made this game possible. And I truly mean that in the best way, because this was a fun game to watch. There aren’t a lot of June Phillies games we can say that about. It was long, but fun.
Zach Eflin had a good day, regardless of what his pitching line might say. He pitched six innings of six-hit ball, and one crappy pitch combined with an error gave him a three-run first. That error belonged to Maikel Franco.
That was a long-ass review, and it ended badly for the Phillies. Eflin’s bad pitch went to the next batter, Jake Lamb, who hit a three-run homer. But after that, Eflin was solid, allowing just one more run in the fifth. He even got his very first major league hit!
Zach Eflin, after his bad debut: 17 2/3 IP, 15 H, 7 R, 5 ER, 1 BB, 7 K. Made one really, really bad pitch today.— Matt Gelb (@MattGelb) June 29, 2016
Once Eflin left the game after six innings, the game started getting really, really interesting. Six relievers came into the game, and a fair number of them weren’t great. Severino Gonzalez came first, and he threw just six pitches before getting pulled. Six. He allowed the first batter he faced to reach after just one pitch, and he threw five more to the next guy, who also singled. Edubray Ramos would inherit the mess that Gonzalez made, then do some damage of his own. He gave up two hits which scored both of Gonzalez’s runs and one that would belong to him. It’s Edubray’s very first run allowed in the majors. Mazel tov!
We’re still in the seventh inning, folks. Ramos could only get one out before Pete Mackanin yanked him from the game, and Adam Morgan came in to clean up the mess. And that’s exactly what he did. A ground out, an intentional walk, and a strikeout ended the inning without further damage. In the eighth, our old friend Hector Neris came to visit, and it did not go well.
Hector Neris, pitching for 42nd time in 80 games, looks gassed. He's pitched in six of the nine games on this trip, which may never end.— Matt Gelb (@MattGelb) June 29, 2016
Poor Hector Neris. He gave up a run on two hits, and blew the save by allowing the Diamondbacks to tie the game. Jeanmar Gomez would come to his rescue, pitching an inning and a third, with Brett Oberholtzer getting his first career save in the tenth.
I’ve clearly spent way too long talking about relievers instead of talking about the two guys I totally haven’t been avoiding talking about. Peter Bourjos and Cody Asche are en fuego right now. Bourjos let everyone know he meant business when he hit a two-run home run with one out in the first inning. He’s had had an insanely productive road trip. Including today’s 2-for-5, he’s 17-for-36 with four strikeouts and four walks over the entire road trip. When the Phillies arrived in Minnesota months ago, or maybe it was just last week, Bourjos had a .217 average. Nine games later, his average is up to .262.
And now, Cody Asche. His first two at-bats ended in outs, but he came alive in the fifth inning, hitting a double that scored Eflin. He singled in the seventh to tie the game at 4-4. He hit a sac fly in the eighth to put the Phillies ahead 8-7. And he singled in the tenth to put Bourjos in position to score on Tyler Goeddel’s sac fly. He was part of almost everything today. I don’t know who this new Cody Asche is, but I certainly like him more than the old one who sucked and annoyed me all the time.
Bourjos and Asche didn’t do it alone. Three other Phillies also had multi-hit games. Cameron Rupp was 2-for-5. Cesar Hernandez had a four hit game! Freddy Galvis had THREE HITS, and he also authored this nifty play.
After the game, Pete Mackanin met the players on the field for the traditional post-win celebratory high-fives. The man had a smile on his face that was brighter than the sun.
My friends, I hope you enjoy Thursday’s off-day.