After two poorly played games against the Yankees, the Phillies returned home to face a division rival...and played even worse. They didn’t pitch well, they didn’t hit well, and they didn’t field well. About the only good thing about Thursday’s 7-2 loss to the Braves was the guest commentator in the third inning.
Thursday’s game featured a special visitor to the broadcast booth: Josh Scott - the teen who gained fame for handing a Freddie Freeman home run ball to a young Braves fan back in April. And let me tell you: This kid was delightful. He was well-spoken, funny, and actually seemed to know his baseball.
Petition to make Josh Scott an official member of the broadcast team— The Good Phight (@TheGoodPhight) July 22, 2021
Here’s the problem: He was also bad luck. The team fell apart while he was in the booth, and as anyone who’s ever gotten sick after taking a vaccine can tell you, correlation always equals causation. Josh might have been charming the viewers, but Matt Moore was busy making them feel sick. In the third inning, Moore loaded the bases, and then Dansby Swanson promptly unloaded them.
At least Moore was able to go six innings, giving the bullpen a slight break after the previous night’s all-relief game. But here’s my question: Why couldn’t Moore go longer? With a 6-0 deficit, the Phillies probably weren’t going to win, so even if he gave up more runs, what’s the difference? And he left after 96 pitches, so it’s not like another 15 or so would have caused his arm to fall off.
Instead, the Phillies had to use Mauricio Llovera for two innings, meaning that he’ll probably be unavailable for the next week or so. I don’t know if that’s any great loss, but still.
Moore wasn’t the only Phillies player to have a bad night. Andrew Knapp was particularly awful, attempting an ill-timed bunt, and generally looking as if he had never seen a curveball before.
Charlie Morton, Pretty 82mph Curveball. pic.twitter.com/12nmuGppTb— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) July 22, 2021
He also seemed to give a less-than-top effort retrieving a passed ball, allowing the Braves’ runner to take an extra base. And while he wasn’t the main culprit on this play (Welcome back, Odubel!) he also didn’t distinguish himself:
The teams will be back in action tomorrow night. While part of me thinks it would be great if they brought Josh back for more commentary, for the team’s sake, it’s probably best if he stays away.