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No Hollywood ending: Dodgers 5, Phillies 4

A blown save in the ninth prevents the Phillies from completing a four-game sweep

MLB: Philadelphia Phillies at Los Angeles Dodgers
Instead of the Phillies, Gavin Lux was the one who got to celebrate a happy ending
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Sweeping the Dodgers in a four-game series in Los Angeles isn’t supposed to be easy, but the Phillies had it in their grasp. After winning the first three games of the series, they got off to a 4-0 lead in the finale, and the sweep felt as good as secured. But thanks to an offense that went cold and a bullpen which couldn’t close it out, the sweep was denied as the Dodgers came back to win 5-4.

Things were looking great in the second inning when an error by Dodgers second baseman Gavin Lux led to four runs by the Phillies. However, the offense completely dried up after that. I don’t know if all the scoring over the past few days made the Phillies overanxious, but they swung at a lot of bad pitches throughout the day. The most glaring was this effort by Odubel Herrera.

Their best opportunity to add to their lead came in the seventh when they walked three times and hit a single in the inning. But thanks in part to hitting into a double play, that resulted in a grand total of zero runs scored.

For most of the afternoon, Aaron Nola and the Phillies defense made it appear as if those four runs would be enough. Nola gave up two runs over seven innings before turning things over to the bullpen.

Jeurys Familia has been one of Joe Girardi’s most trusted relievers, but you have to wonder how long that will last. After a horrid outing on Friday night, Familia allowed one run on Sunday, and would have blown the lead if not for excellent defensive plays by Johan Camargo and Jean Segura.

By the time Corey Knebel started the ninth, the Phillies were out of wiggle room, but it looked as if they wouldn’t need any. Knebel got the first two batters and then had two strikes on Cody Bellinger. But instead of finishing him off, Knebel did his best Ian Kennedy impression by badly missing his spot on an 0-2 pitch. Bellinger sent the pitch into right field for a triple, the tying run was suddenly on third base.

Chris Taylor followed with a walk in which Knebel appeared to be getting squeezed a bit. But he still had a chance to get out of it, facing nine-hole hitter Lux with two outs. He did not get out of it.

Tomorrow, we’ll probably hear the Phillies talk about how the road trip was an overall success. Before the trip began, most fans would have been thrilled if they came home with a 5-2 record. It’s just a shame that they couldn’t give this L.A. story the happy ending it deserved.