The Phillies return home after a pretty impressive stint along the east coast, winning 5 out of 7 from the Mets and Braves to take control of the NL East. Now coming home, where they have been markedly better this season, they hope to expand that lead.
On this warm evening, Vince Velasquez took the mound, two days after he was scheduled to, fully recovered from the flu. He started off dealing, allowing only two hits over the first three innings. The offense staked him to a 3-0 lead, thanks to a J.T. Realmuto two-run home run in the first inning and a solo shot from Andrew McCutchen in the second. In the fourth, the Diamondbacks broke through against Velasquez, plating two thanks to a few singles, a wild pitch and an uncharacteristic passed ball by Realmuto. The Phillies got one back against Madison Bumgarner, the starter for Arizona, in the fourth thanks to two consecutive walks to McCutchen and Rhys Hoskins and an RBI single from Logan Forsythe.
Velasquez continued sailing on as he pitched into the seventh inning before the bullpen took over. Francisco Liriano and Adam Morgan would allow at least one run to score, but the damage was kept a minimum. When the seventh was over, the score was 4-3, Philadelphia.
Now, as you may recall, the bullpen had just finished a bullpen game a few days before, and in that game, Hector Neris went almost 3 innings and 47 pitches, which meant he wasn’t available to manager Joe Girardi as the game entered the ninth inning with the score still 4-3. Therefore, Girardi had to lean on someone else to lock it down and tonight, it was Victor Arano’s turn. When he got Nick Ahmed out looking to start the ninth, it looked like the right move, but Jake Lamb turned on a fastball and tied the game at four. Arano wouldn’t even be able to finish the inning, needing some help from Blake Parker to get the job done.
With the game tied in the bottom of the ninth, the Phillies would face Jimmy Sherfy. They decided to feast, Adam Haseley singled to open the inning, then went to third on a single to Jean Segura. Bryce Harper was intentionally walked to load the bases and set up a force at the plate, but when Realmuto stepped to the plate, he made sure that wasn’t going to happen. Lacing a single into left, Haseley scored, Realmuto was the hero and the Phillies won the game, 5-4.
The Phillies lead in the East was extended to 1 1⁄2 games over the Mets and Braves. The Phillies and Diamondbacks will face off again tomorrow with ace Aaron Nola on the mound.