The Phillies need wins.
It doesn’t really matter how bad the bullpen is at this point, as long as they can continue to get wins, they’ll take them.
Tonight, they got a win, but hoo boy did it cost them a bit.
The top of the first was fortuitous for the Phillies. They loaded the bases when Richard Urena lost control of everything he had and walked Bryce Harper and J.T. Realmuto after Rhys Hoskins reached on an error. That brought to the plate Sir Didi Gregorius, who decided that he would continue his strikeout-less ways.
Gregorious is Grand— John Clark (@JClarkNBCS) September 12, 2020
Didi Gregorius is tied with Manny Machado for most grand slams in baseball since start of 2017 (7)
We are rapidly approaching the point, if we haven’t already, that the team really needs to consider an extension for Didi considering a) the dearth of shortstop options on the Phillies’ roster, b) the lack of options on the free agent market for next season.
Bryce Harper has been a story lately as he’s been ice cold of late, his ninth inning double last night snapping an 0 for 18 slump. He’s been homerless for almost a month, but in the third, he rectified that.
BRYCE #RingTheBell pic.twitter.com/DMA5dPuKKs— Philadelphia Phillies (@Phillies) September 12, 2020
As all this homer happy goodness was happening, Spencer Howard was cruising right along with three no-hit innings to begin the game. In the fourth, he got the first two outs of the inning via the strikeout, but then something happened. He allowed a single to Jesus Aguilar, walked Matt Joyce, then allowed a three-run shot to Brian Anderson. After that, he departed the game with an injury.
Spencer Howard left the game with right shoulder stiffness, Phillies announce.— Meghan Montemurro (@M_Montemurro) September 13, 2020
Heath Hembree was brought in first, too early for what the team had planned for. He got out of the inning, then gave them another scoreless one in the fifth. So far, so good.
The Phillies got a run in the top of that fifth when J.T. Realmuto scored on a wild pitch, but couldn’t take a golden opportunity in the top of the sixth, a bases loaded situation, and do anything with it. The bottom of the sixth saw Jojo Romero allow a run on back-to-back doubles, but that was it. After that inning, the score stood 6-4.
After the seventh, it was 7-5 and the sweat was starting to run down the necks of the coaching staff. They were going to have to get nine outs from a bullpen that hasn’t shown the ability to get it. They would need some insurance in order to make some of the sweat dry up and make the game a little easier.
The top of the eighth would provide that insurance. Harper got a one out double, then scored on a two-out single from Jean Segura. Alec Bohm doubled in Gregorius, who had walked after Harper, and sent Segura to third. After Adam Haseley was intentionally walked, Kyle Garlick hit a bases clearing double that made the score 12-5 and gave the team exactly the insurance they needed.
The Marlins would get another run off of Brandon Workman (shocker.) in the eighth, but the combination of Workman and Adam Morgan got the team out of it in the end, preserving a 12-6 victory.
Even with the win, losing Howard in the midst of this stretch when pitching is of the utmost importance, that could prove to be a costly loss, especially coupled with losing Zack Wheeler. There are contingency plans at the alternate site, but man this could be a big loss for the team.
Another doubleheader is tomorrow, with the pitching plans up in the air. Yay!