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Hector protects - Phillies 5, Yankees 4

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The Phillies split their series with the red hot Yankees...

Photo by Jason O. Watson / Getty Images

Well... that was a fun game — and I was lucky enough to witness it live!

Let’s get right to it, shall we?

It was an easy first inning for Zach Eflin, two easy groundouts from Tauchman and Voit brought up Aaron Hicks — who beat the shift with an opposite field single.

But, Eflin put an end to the inning quickly after getting the better of Giancarlo Stanton — striking him out looking (which the Yankees dugout did not approve of. In fact, they didn’t approve of a lot of things tonight... but we won’t go there.)

That brought up your Philadelphia Phillies, who got after it early. Andrew McCutchen lined out to the shortstop, unluckily, but Rhys Hoskins walked, Bryce Harper singled, and the Best Catcher in Baseball drove everyone home with a 3-run blast to left field.

Zach Eflin then came out for his second inning, and ran into some really, really bad luck. Here’s how the inning shook out:

- 76.1 EV flyout from Gleyber Torres

- 27.2 EV bunt single by Brett Gardner.

- 76.2 EV near-double-play (E4)

- 11 pitch at-bat walk from Tyler Wade.

- 76.6 EV 2 RBI single from Mike Tauchman.

- 70.3 EV pop out from Luke Voit.

There was a lot of BABIP luck on the Yankees’ side tonight. They had just FIVE hard hits on the night, but it was the soft ones that were their “undoing.”

The Phillies bottom of the order went down 1-2-3 (Kingery, Walker, Quinn) which brought up the Yankees’ top of the 3rd — and they ALSO went down 1-2-3.

But then, the Phillies bats came to town.

Bryce Harper grounded into a fielders choice, but was moved to second on an infield single from JT Realmuto... and Phil Gosselin did what he does best — driving in both runners with an RBI double in the gap.

Talk about a story. Phil Gosselin has been incredible early for the Phils.

Zach Eflin managed to sit the Yankees down pretty easily in the 4th, which brought him to the end of his day.

You’ve got to love what you saw from him today. Zach gave up a singular — legitimately one — hard hit ball versus one of the hardest-hitting squads in baseball.

His final line:

4 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 4 K

Then came the Phillies in the bottom of the 4th, who looked like they were going to be set down in order, until Roman Quinn rocketed a triple to right field. That guy has some wheels.

But, the Phils couldn’t capitalize on it, so we moved to the 5th.

And, in that 5th inning, something wonderful happened. The Phillies bullpen, YES, the Phillies bullpen, threw a scoreless inning on the back of Deolis Guerra.

You’d have thought it was impossible up until today... but I swear, I was there, it happened.

So, that brought it back to the Phillies, who, aside from a Bryce Harper walk, didn’t have much to offer in the 5th.

In the top of the 6th, Nick Pivetta came out to pitch, and set down the Yankees side on 10 pitches. ANOTHER SCORELESS INNING. Encouraging... for now.

The Phillies went down 1-2-3 in the 6th, and the 7th spelled trouble.

Gary Sanchez knocked a 2-run homer off of Nick Pivetta in his second inning out. That made the score 5-4 Phils — not what you want with this bullpen finishing up the game for you.

In the bottom of the 7th, Roman Quinn led off with a 10-pitch at-bat that ended in a walk. It was a great effort... until he got picked off at first — which cost the team a run, because Andrew McCutchen doubled right directly after that.

But, after a Bryce Harper walk, JT Realmuto struck out with men on first and second — not ideal, as the Phillies could have really used those runs.

So, in came Jose Alvarez, who was excellent for a good two-thirds of an inning and, even though he allowed a bloop double to Giancarlo Stanton, he proved he’s one of the more reliable Phillies relievers.

And that brought in Hector The Protector to vie for the 4-out save.

Hector, in a wonderful sequence, struck out Aaron Judge to end the top of the 8th, and the crowd beyond the center field gate went wild.

The Phillies did nothing to bolster their lead in the bottom of the 8th, so it was down to Hector Neris to lock this one up.

He induced a weak fly from Gio Urshela, and a pop-out from Gary Sanchez, but ran into a bit of trouble when DJ LeMahieu and Mike Tauchman BABIP’d him for singles.

Then, Luke Voit smashed a 104.6 mph out to Roman Quinn — locking this one up for the Phils.

In his postgame interview, Hector said that, after Roman Quinn caught that ball he said something in his head — something I’ll use to wrap this recap up:

“Maybe next time,” Yankees.