Coming in to this weekend series, we had to hope that there was no letdown in this team as it careens toward the All-Star break. In the past, games against opponents like the Orioles and the Pirates were the ones where the Phillies would lose focus and drop series they aren’t supposed to lose. And the first inning happened, where it looked bad for the Phils. It looked like this would be the game where mental mistakes would cause a shift in the team’s fortunes. After Odubel misplayed a ball in the late evening sun because he didn’t bring sunglasses on the field, there was a lot of social media groaning.
Sunglasses in outfield???????????— ricky bottalico (@rickybottalico) July 6, 2018
Odubel being Odubel— iRockPhilly (@irockphilly) July 6, 2018
A clown still being a clown.— Bruce Gillispie (@BruceGillispie5) July 6, 2018
However, there is just something about this team this year. On their current run, they just never seem to be completely out of it. In the top of the second inning, Carlos Santana led off with a walk and moved to second on a one out Scott Kingery single. After Andrew Knapp flied out to make it two outs, Maikel Franco come up large with a two-run double off the left-centerfield wall, making it 2-1, Phillies.
In the top of the third, Cesar Hernandez was hit by a pitch, Rhys Hoskins walked, bringing Odubel Herrera to the plate. He did this:
Odubel Herrera murdered a baseball pic.twitter.com/kpdVG90w8O— Nick Piccone (@nickpiccone) July 6, 2018
The hope was that Nick Pivetta would take over and dominate the way he is capable of. Instead, helped by some poor defense by the Phillies, he gave up three runs in the inning, making the score 5-3. Pivetta ended lasting only 2 2⁄3 innings, giving up five hits, three runs (one earned), two walks and two strikeouts on 72 pitches. He wasn’t horrible per se, but the errors did not help, and he wasn’t exactly sharp, but still, in this season where he has been a pleasant surprise, it’s a little bit concerning that he was this wild again.
In the bottom of the fourth, reliever Austin Davis gave up a run when Josh Bell doubled, then Starling Marte singled him home, but no further damage was given up, making it 5-4, Phillies. The Phillies would tack on two more in the top of the sixth inning when the Phillies loaded the bases on a bunt single by Hernandez and Hoskins and Herrera both walked. After Carlos Santana hit a sacrifice fly for the first run of the inning, Nick Williams walked to load the bases again. That brought up Scott Kingery, who would hit an infield single that required a reversal on replay to give the Phillies another run, putting the score at 7-4. That score would hold until the top of the 7th.
Oh, the top of the 7th.
If you didn’t watch the carnage, this is how it went:
- <mound visit>
- <mound visit>
- strike out
- home run
- <mound visit>
- ground out
It was brutal to watch, as you almost felt bad for the Pirates’ pitching staff as they seemed utterly unable to find the strikezone with any consistency. But the Phillies took advantage of the wildness and put up seven runs in the inning, making the score 14-4.
After that, the game just kind of seemed like it didn’t want to end. No one did anything except watch the clock to see if this game would set the record for either the longest nine inning game in the National League or even the longest nine inning game ever. Runs were scored, sure, but there was something else we wanted to happen. It was a long slog to try and get there, but slowly we began to make our way there:
This is the longest nine-inning game in PNC Park history. We're at 4:08 and counting ... six minutes away from setting Phillies' franchise record.— Todd Zolecki (@ToddZolecki) July 7, 2018
and then, the real magic:
At 4 hours, 14 minutes, this is officially the longest nine-inning game in Phillies history with five outs still to go.— Meghan Montemurro (@M_Montemurro) July 7, 2018
The Phillies' previous record? Exactly three years ago today in LA.
IT DIDN’T STOP THERE!
The Phillies are in first place. They've won five in a row and seven of their last eight. Tonight's 17-5 win over the Pirates took 4 hours, 30 minutes. The longest nine-inning game in the history of the Phillies is over.— Matt Breen (@matt_breen) July 7, 2018
IT TIED THE NATIONAL LEAGUE RECORD! WOOOOOO!
Yes, it was a game tojnasdflkjnask;jdfkljnash
Sorry, apparently my head hit the keyboard when I passed out from exhaustion. I’m going to bed.
The Phillies now lead the majors with three 10-walk games this year. They had just two as a team from 2011-2017. That's seven years! It's been half a season!— Ben Harris (@byBenHarris) July 7, 2018
- I don’t think enough was made of Nick Williams’ throw to gun down Colin Moran at the plate to end the first inning. If he doesn’t make that throw, who knows how the first inning turns out.
- Odubel’s home run in the third inning was K-I-L-T KILT!