It’s hard to call a mid-June game a “must win” game, and this one certainly wasn’t. But the Phillies had Aaron Nola going against the fourth place Rockies and their starting pitcher with an ERA of 5.66. It might be some time until they had this favorable a matchup again, so it would have been very good to take advantage.
And the Phillies did take advantage; barely. The Rockies scored four runs in the ninth inning and left the tying run stranded at second base.
But considering how few wins the Phillies have earned over the past couple of weeks, we can’t really turn up our noses at the ugly ones. So here are some of the highlights:
Scott Kingery has provided very little in terms of offensive contributions since the first few weeks of the season. On Tuesday, with two men on in the first inning, he did something that he hadn’t done in over two months:
BRING 'EM IN, KINGERY— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) June 12, 2018
He blasts a 3-run homer to make it 3-0 Phillies in the 1st! pic.twitter.com/uZALvKyUKa
In the third inning, Kingery added another run with a sacrifice fly.
Nola was Nola
The Phillies’ ace had another strong performance, allowing one run in 6.2 innings while striking out ten. He might have avoided giving up any runs had Gabe Kapler not pulled him with two outs in the seventh. He had just recorded a strikeout on a nasty pitch, so the timing seemed odd. Sure enough, Edubray Ramos entered the game and allowed a run-scoring single.
Phillies Manufactured What Turned Out to be an Extremely Important Insurance Run
Odubel Herrera is mired in a horrendous slump, but he still managed to contribute to the win. In the eighth inning, he struck out on a pitch that was nowhere near to the strike zone, and it is tough to understand how he could have ever conceived that it would be a strike. The pitch was so bad that the catcher didn’t come close to catching it, and Herrera was safe on a wild pitch. He then stole second and came around to score on Jesmuel Valentin’s single.
The Agonizing, Yet Ultimately Fulfilling Ninth
It looked like the Phillies might actually win a game where they didn’t require the services of relief ace Seranthony Dominguez. Luis Garcia had other ideas.
With a four-run lead, Garcia was brought in to pitch the ninth. Four batters into the inning, the lead was down to one, the tying run was on first base, and no outs had been recorded. Enter Seranthony.
Unfortunately, this was not the dominating Seranthony that we’ve grown accustomed to. The first batter he faced singled and drove in a run. The next batter hit a sacrifice fly that just missed leaving the park. And the next batter was retired thanks to Aaron Altherr tracking down a tough line drive in right field.
Now all Dominguez needed to do was retire Nolan Arenado. No big deal, right? Thankfully, Arenado couldn’t quite hold up his swing on strike three (and it was close), and the Phillies emerged victorious.
A Win is a Win
This may have not been the most asthetically pleasing win ever, but it would have been an absolutely crushing loss. Let’s just be thankful they found a way to emerge victorious.