Ah yes, home at last. And you know who loves playing at home? Bryce Harper.
Which, if you want to know more about just how good he’s been at home, check out our own Leo Morgenstern’s piece here.
Another day, another Harper home run. This one came in the first inning again off of Rockies starter Antonio Senzatela, and it was his 30th of the season. He now has four homers in his last seven games.
Since the All-Star break, MV3 has put the team on his back and is determined to get them to the playoffs and it shows.
Ranger Suárez pitched six solid innings, allowing just one run on five hits, and striking out six Rockies batters. He’s exceeded expectations as a starter, a role he was abruptly thrown into, and his ERA still sits at a mere 1.38.
After the Rockies tied the game 1-1 in the fourth, the Phillies' offense was once again fairly quiet. They eventually took the lead in the sixth on a force out by Brad Miller that scored Jean Segura who singled earlier in the inning. It likely could have been more runs had Odúbel Herrera not slid off the bag to be tagged out at third. Had that not happened, the Phils could’ve loaded the bases with no outs and perhaps scored more. But I digress.
The Phillies bullpen was once again solid, with Jose Alvarado and Héctor Neris pitching a combined two scoreless innings. Neris is now just seven strikeouts away from becoming the Phils all-time Ks leader amongst relievers.
Then it was Ian Kennedy’s turn to close the door out on a 2-1 game and secure a Phils victory. But wait, you didn’t think the Phillies were actually gonna win, were you?
Oh, baby, you were sorely mistaken. Kennedy got the first two outs, no problem. Easy peasy. But two outs are Phillies’ pitching’s kryptonite. If you watched How I Met Your Mother, you’ll know the saying “nothing good happens after 2 a.m.” Well, much like that, nothing good happens after getting two outs.
Another thing that seems to be Phillies’ pitching’s worst nightmare? Pinch hitters. Kennedy gave up a go-ahead 2-run blast to pinch-hitter Ryan McMahon in the ninth to put the Rockies ahead 3-2. And it didn’t stop there! Kennedy allowed a solo homer to Sam Hilliard to further extend the Rockies’ lead 4-2. After allowing a single after the second homer, Joe Girardi finally decided he’d seen enough of Kennedy. JD Hammer came on and thankfully ended the inning.
Despite making a ninth-inning push for a walk-off, the Phils fell short and dropped game one of this four-game series, 4-3. It was the Phillies’ 30th blown save of the season. Per Jim Salisbury, that is the most in the majors and a single-season team record. The bullpen has also allowed 78 homers, the fifth-most in majors. It was their 69th loss, and they are now three games back in the NL East.
And how dare they lose in embarrassing fashion with all of those cute dogs in attendance on Bark at the Park night! How dare they!!!!!