Is it just me, or are the Phillies a really good extra inning team this year? In a night where they used everyone on the bench, it was one of the pinch hitters that helped the team head toward their eighth straight win.
The game was, yet again, another pitcher’s duel for most of the game. The Pirates scored early, getting a solo home run from Brian Reynolds in the first inning off of starter Zach Eflin to put Pittsburgh ahead early. They scpred again in the second when Gregory Polanco doubled to start the inning, then scored on a Kevin Kramer single to make the score 2-0.
That score stood as Joe Musgrove shut down the Phillies’ lineup for much of the game before running into trouble in the seventh inning. Rhys Hoskins led the inning off with a solo home run that halved the lead, then was followed by a Scott Kingery one out triple. Neil Walker drove home Kingery and the game was tied. It remained that way until the 11th, when things got wild.
The top of the 11th began with a Bryce Harper single, followed by a J.T. Realmuto walk and a Rhys Hoskins single to load the bases. This ended reliever Michael Feliz’s night, who was replaced by Edgar Santana. Andrew McCutchen then faced Santana and laced a single to left, scoring both Harper and Realmuto. Logan Forsythe and Adam Haseley struck out for the first two outs, bringing pinch hitter Andrew Knapp to the plate. He singled and scored Hoskins, putting up a crucial third run and making the game 5-2. Easy right?
In the bottom of the frame, Tommy Hunter came on since Hector Neris pitched the tenth. He let up two singles to start the inning before getting a groundout to Hoskins, allowing the runners to move into scoring position. Joe Girardi had seen enough and brought in Nick Pivetta, who of course allowed a double to Jose Osuna, scoring two and making it 5-4. After a groundball pushed the tying run to third, Pivetta induced a weak groundball from Jacob Stallings, ending the game and allowing the team to exhale.
Another night, another win. Zach Eflin was good, only needing to be replaced because the team needed a pinch hitter at the moment. The bullpen, outside of Hunter and Pivetta, was good again, continuing a recent trend.
The teams will wrap up their series tomorrow on Mother’s Day with Aaron Nola toeing the rubber for the Phils against Mitch Keller.