There have been two ways that the Phillies have typically lost in the Joe Girardi regime. Either the bullpen blows a lead late in the game or shoddy defense costs them crucial runs. This is the way. On Friday night, it was the leather that let the team down, leading to a Giants opening game victory.
It started off well. Odubel Herrera took a curveball from Giants starter Johnny Cueto and drilled a ball to centerfield.
Odubel Herrera's second-career leadoff homer. pic.twitter.com/NgXpUV5wu5— Todd Zolecki (@ToddZolecki) June 19, 2021
Usually, those types of things are signs that the game is going to bend to the will of the Phillies, but that was not to be tonight. The second inning saw the defense let them down once again this year. Brandon Crawford started the inning with a double, then went to third on a wild pitch by Vince Velasquez. Steven Duggar walked, who was then followed by a single by Jason Vosler that scored Crawford and tied the game at one. Cueto would strike out attempting to bunt, giving hope that the Phillies would get out of the inning without any more damage. but Lamonte Wade drilled a line drive toward first that Rhys Hoskins should have nabbed, but didn’t, scoring Duggar and putting Vosler on third. A passed ball by Knapp that also should have been caught scored Vosler and gave the Giants their third run of the inning before Mike Yastrzemski popped out to end the inning.
It was yet another embarrassing display of defense for the Phillies, but Andrew McCutchen tied things up in fourth when he also drilled a ball into centerfield after a Bryce Harper single to tie the game at three.
This was Andrew McCutchen’s first home run from the cleanup spot since 2011.— Destiny Lugardo (@destiny_lugardo) June 19, 2021
This is a good thing. Momentum on the Phillies side, a game tied that they really didn’t deserve to be in.
Did I mention who was pitching?
Already running a pitch count in the seventies in the fourth. Velasquez got two easy out in the fourth before inexplicably walking Cueto with two outs. You know what would happen next. Wade tripled, scoring Cueto and the Giants took a lead they wouldn’t give back. They’d get another in the fifth on a Brandon Belt home run off of Bailey Falter.
There was a fleeting opportunity to grab some runs in the sixth when Harper hit a ball off the left field wall that he believed to be a home run, but not sprinting out of the box cost him a few extra steps, steps he would need when Wade gunned him down at second base trying to stretch a single into a home run.
Neither side would really threaten anymore against the opposing bullpen, meaning the game stayed at 5-3 the rest of the way.
It was a game that was totally winnable for the Phillies, but the same blunders that have plagued them all season popped up again. Poor defense, mental lapses while pitching and bad baserunning all cost them runs that shouldn’t have been lost. Hopefully, a day game with Aaron Nola on the mound today will help them get back on track.