The Phillies are about to enter a schedule gauntlet. Today, it’s the Red Sox for a doubleheader, followed by the welcome respite of an off day, then seven games in five days against the Marlins. While in the past that may have seemed like welcome news, we as fans know that Miami has given the Phillies fits these past few years and with the Marlins playing well so far, it represents a rough stretch of games.
First though, the Phillies had to get through the Red Sox.
Game 1: Phillies 6, Red Sox 5
Game one of the doubleheader started out well for the Phillies. After taking a ball in the pills, Didi Gregorius came up in the second inning against Martin Perez and continued to solidify his case for the Phillies to re-sign him after the season.
.@DidiG18 didn't miss. #RingTheBell pic.twitter.com/Bzfwgrl1uu— Philadelphia Phillies (@Phillies) September 8, 2020
With Zach Eflin on the mound against a Red Sox lineup that hasn’t done much this season to make their fans believe in them, they do still have a young phenom in Rafael Devers. He came up in the third and cracked a home run that had to have registered somewhere on decibel meter.
Rafael Devers - Boston Red Sox (8) pic.twitter.com/BNrHIVtMJH— MLB HR Videos (@MLBHRVideos) September 8, 2020
That gets a capital H in Home run.
In the bottom of the inning, the Phillies would get some revenge. Bryce Harper would lead off the inning with a walk, then continued onward to third base after successive groundouts. While on third, Boston catcher Christian Vazquez felt the need to try and pick off Harper, but, well, let’s just say he was unsuccessful.
Sloppy defensive inning from the #RedSox. This is what a last place team looks like. Very poor awareness from Christian Vazquez and Christian Arroyo. #DirtyWater pic.twitter.com/iVwPjJ7idx— Tyler Milliken (@tylermilliken_) September 8, 2020
Gregorius would finish his at bat by walking, as would Phil Gosselin, bringing up Alec Bohm. Bohm continued his impressive rookie season by driving both runners in, making the score 4-1, Phillies.
Alec Bohm is going to be so good pic.twitter.com/T5wvIxYPbn— Alex Peters (@alex_peters20) September 8, 2020
It stayed that way into the fifth inning as Eflin continued cruising right along. He’d run into trouble when Alex Verdugo, followed by Devers again, hit back-to-back home runs off of Eflin, bringing the Red Sox within one. It was disappointing for Eflin, who has really started to build a case as the obvious choice to be the third option in a playoff rotation. After his departing, the bullpen took over and well....
Bobby Dalbec tied the game at 4 when he launched a Tommy Hunter pitch into the seats. When Alex Verdugo was hit by a pitch with two outs, a mound visit was thought to help Hunter out. Unfortunately, Devers was up again.
Have yourself a day Rafael Devers! After this RBI double to put the #RedSox up 5-4, he’s 3-for-3 with 3 RBIs and 2 long balls. Can’t get much hotter than he is right now.#DirtyWater | #MLB pic.twitter.com/rVC1CXLIGz— Tyler Milliken (@tylermilliken_) September 8, 2020
It stayed that way into the bottom of the seventh when Matt Barnes was brought in by the Red Sox to close. J.T. Realmuto led the frame off with a walk, then went to third on a one out Gregorius single. When Adam Haseley was called out on strikes for the second out, Gregorius stole second in what would be a huge steal. That brought Bohm up, who delivered.
Alec Bohm's walkoff in Game 1. pic.twitter.com/1oieguoKiF— Todd Zolecki (@ToddZolecki) September 8, 2020
The Phillies may have something with this kid.
Game 2: Phillies 2, Red Sox 5
Game two began in a similar manner as game one.
The Phillies got off to an early lead, thanks to the combined efforts of a wild pitch, and a single off the bat of Didi Gregorius.
Then, it was all Vince Velasquez. He allowed one singular hard hit to Rafael Devers, and cruised thru the rest of the Red Sox lineup — though he allowed two runs on weak contact in the process.
All told, he was pretty darn good tonight, tossing 5 innings of 2-run ball, and striking out a season-high 9 batters.
The Red Sox “starter”, Chris Mazza, was pretty darn good, too, limiting the Phillies to just 4 hits, and keeping their bats quiet thru the remainder of his 5 frames.
Then, in the top of the 6th, it happened... again.
David Phelps relieved Vince Velasquez, walked the leadoff man in ex-Phillie Deivy Grullon, and then the rookie, Bobby Dalbec, did this:
That Bobby Dalbec power we'd been hearing about... It's real. pic.twitter.com/Hnfl64Clcc— Red Sox (@RedSox) September 9, 2020
Phelps has been utterly terrible since joining the Phillies — even though he was considered one of the better relievers in the game when the Phillies picked him up before the trade deadline.
On the bright side, Jojo Romero came in and did what he’s been doing, limiting the Red Sox to just the two runs in the inning.
He came back out to begin the 7th, getting Rafael Devers to ground out before handing the ball over to Heath Hembree, who allowed, you guessed it, ANOTHER earned run, making it 5-2.
That gave the Phillies a real mountain to climb coming into the bottom of the 7th.
They began the proverbial climb quite well. Neil Walker lined out sharply, but Andrew Knapp and Andrew McCutchen drew back-to-back walks, bringing Jean Segura, yesterday’s savior, to the plate.
He smashed a bullet to center field, but it was directly at Jackie Bradley Jr.
It was left to Rhys Hoskins.
He got a hold of one, and it flew all the way to the wall, but was nabbed by Tzu Wei-Lin, putting this one in the books.
It’s a disappointing loss, but, I suppose you can’t complain about a series split.