Everybody together now, exhale.
What a way to win a game. Shades of 2020 before the hottest hitters in the lineup come through for a team that really needed to not get swept at home. Having a rain delay didn’t affect the pitching as much as we thought since Zach Eflin came back out for six strong innings, but once again, the bullpen coughed up a lead.
Then Bryce Harper happened.
The game started under threatening skies, with thunderstorms in the forecast and both teams swinging knowing that a delay and possible postponement were easily on the table for discussion. Eflin and Anthony DeSclafani both got through the first rather quickly, Eflin repeating that in the second. DeSclafani was not as lucky. With two men aboard, Mickey Moniak came up and drilled his first home run in the major leagues.
That home run made it 3-0 and the race for an official game was on. Unfortunately, Mother Nature had other ideas and after Eflin made all of his warm up pitches in the third, the umpires decided to delay the game after one pitch.
Eflin would come back out to finish the third and the teams again picked up their frantic pace to make it an official game. In the fifth, the Giants would get one back when Buster Posey doubled, went to third on an “infield single”, then scored when Wilmer Flores lined out to right field that ended up being a force out.
In the sixth, Brad Miller singled to lead off the inning, then went to second on a fielder’s choice by Knapp. Nick Maton laced a single to left field that Alex Dickerson misplayed into Miller scoring and Maton ending up on third. Things were looking good. Eflin was at 86 pitches, the team had a three run lead and the sun was coming out.
Then the bullpen happened again.
Last night was a reliever’s debacle. Connor Brogdon was left out too long with diminished stuff and served up the lead on a silver platter. Today, it was Brandon Kintzler’s turn by allowing a lead off double, a one out infield single (for real this time), bringing up Darin Ruf. Kintzler should have the advantage in that matchup, but when you throw a pitch this bad, it’s getting hammered no matter who is at the plate.
Phillies bullpen has given up 3— John Clark (@JClarkNBCS) April 21, 2021
3 run HRs in their last 3 innings of work
Former Phillie Darin Ruf did it to them this time
The Giants would get another in the inning because Andrew McCutchen forgot how to catch a fly ball off the bat of Mike Yastrzemski, which gave the Giants life. Jojo Romero would intentionally walk Evan Longoria, bringing Dickerson up to atone for his error. Atone he did, singling home Yastrzemski and giving the Giants the lead, 5-4.
Then Bryce Harper happened.
Bryce Harper ties up the game at 5— John Clark (@JClarkNBCS) April 21, 2021
4th HR in his last 10 games
Batting over 400 over the last week
And he is trying to pump up his teammates
Harper nuked a fastball into the stands, tying the game at five and pumping up his team. Harper is absolutely carrying this offense right now and it’s a pleasure to watch.
The game stayed tied into the bottom of the ninth inning. Harper was walked to start things off, then went to second when Miller got his fourth hit of the day, bringing Knapp to the plate. That means the game would be over.
The Phillies needed this one badly. They’ll rest tomorrow, then head to Colorado to take on a bad Rockies team that they should batter. For now, they can bask in this win and getting back to .500.