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Walk the “Clank:” Pirates 5, Phillies 4

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A wild Hector Neris and a late Rhys Hoskins error cost the Phillies a win.

Pittsburgh Pirates v Philadelphia Phillies Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

Drew Smyly took his 6.95 ERA out for a walk last night, and while far from dominant, he offered the Phillies the kind of start many imagined when he’d been initially acquired: 9 H, 4 ER, 4 SO, 0 BB in 5.2 IP. Brief, but not a disaster. The offense didn’t leave him entirely high and dry, keeping pace with the Buccos until one costly defensive mistake at the very end.

A lead-off triple in the first inning and a two-run shot from Brian Reynolds made this a 2-0 game within the first 10 pitches. Despite a walk-off win the night before, the mood at Citizens Bank Park was that of a restless people, just waiting for a chance to lose their patience. This team has frustrated people all season long, but only recently allowed itself to draw the fans directly into the fray. Regardless of where you stand on Sean Rodriguez’s comments about fan entitlement after Monday night, mentioning the fans at all invites them into the theatrics, which they entered with gusto, booing Rodriguez as he came to the plate and adding an extra flavor of resentment to any miscues that happened on the field.

Adam Haseley singled in a run in the second, Corey Dickerson brought in another in the third, and once again, Haseley singled in Rodriguez to give the Phillies a 3-2 lead in the fourth. Colin Moran gave the lead back to the Pirates with a two-run home run, but Logan Morrison’s first home run as a Phillie tied the game at 4-4.

Rhys Hoskins continued his late season struggles, leading off and going 1-for-5 with a strikeout. But his biggest mistake came in the ninth inning, when Hector Neris had uncorked ball after ball, walking two batters. With two on and two out, Neris got a double play ball to escape the inning, but Hoskins couldn’t handle Jean Segura’s throw—just “clanked” it, as he said—from second and a run came in to score to give the Pirates their 5-4 lead.

With the loss, the Phillies fell two back behind the Cubs in the NL Wild Card, making it as costly as it felt. The Phillies try to take the series tonight at CBP with Vince Velasquez on the mound.