Rain once again was at the forefront of the second game of three between the Philadelphia Phillies and the Los Angeles Dodgers. And while Kyle Gibson was slated to start Wednesday night’s game for the Phillies, manager Joe Girardi decided to play it smart by “starting” Connor Brogdon who then gave way to Hector Neris. As if on cue, the rain started coming down and the game was sent to a delay.
Gibson took the mound to start the third inning after the delay with the game at 0-0. His performance was a mixed bag as he pitched well against one of the toughest lineups in baseball. However, he put himself into some dicey situations and the defense did little to aid him.
The fourth inning is when Gibson first ran into trouble. It seemed like Philadelphia would once again be put out early after Cody Bellinger hit a two-run home run, which was followed up by a David Price RBI double to make it 3-0. Bellinger’s home run was where the shift in momentum occurred.
All 13 pitches from the at bat that ended with a Cody Bellinger home run— Jomboy Media (@JomboyMedia) August 12, 2021
There was 8 minutes and 38 seconds between the first and last pitches. Bellinger fouled off nine pitches pic.twitter.com/IWyztRjGxd
However, the Phillies had a little bit more fight in them tonight than they did on Tuesday. Philadelphia answered with two runs of their own in the bottom of the fourth to make it a 3-2 ballgame off of a Ronald Torreyes single that got Alec Bohm and Didi Gregorius to home plate.
The real and final downturn occurred in the seventh inning, when, and stop me if you’ve heard this before, Bohm committed an error at first base that allowed Los Angeles to score a run to make it 4-2. A passed ball by Andrew Knapp allowed Max Muncy to score immediately following the error.
Gibson was unable to recover, issuing a walk to Chris Taylor that ended his night in the seventh. His 4.1 innings pitched in which he allowed five earned runs was easily his worst start as a Phillie and one of his most disappointing of the season. But, it did come against a potent Dodgers lineup and on the heels of a disrupted routine. Once again, this game highlights the need for a strong defense behind Gibson for him to succeed.
By the end of the seventh, the game was out of reach as the Dodgers had tacked on to their lead to make it 6-2.
Philadelphia in the end would never recover. The bats fell silent as soon as David Price exited the game and turned it over to the Dodgers bullpen. Bellinger added yet another two run home run in the ninth for good measure off of Llovera.
In one word, tonight was “bad.”
This team needs a kickstart and it starts with getting back to doing the little things correctly.
However, that is tough to do against a team like the Dodgers, but if Philadelphia is truly a playoff contender, it’s games like these in which they need to show fight. For the second night in a row, they rolled over when the going got tough. It’s not who this team is, which is why it’s all the more disappointing.
On a side note, the Atlanta Braves did the Phillies no favors as they walked it off in the 11th inning. Philadelphia no longer holds sole possession of the NL East lead.
They will try again tomorrow.