Phillies fans, you may or may not be aware that we saw history at the very beginning of this game. The feat was achieved by interim manager Rob Thomson as he became the first Canadian to manage a game in his home country.
Seen here: the soon-to-be first Canadian to manage an MLB game in his home country. pic.twitter.com/CLyJ7P3lOz— Philadelphia Phillies (@Phillies) July 12, 2022
While I am sure that was cool for Thomson, I bet all he wanted to see was the Phillies win the game. But, we were in for a bullpen game so all bets are off. While the bullpen kept the Phillies in the game they unfortunately still lost 4-3.
When it comes to a bullpen game you get an uneasy feeling because you never know what to expect. Well, that was the case for everyone that tuned in for this Tuesday night showdown in Canada.
Andrew Bellatti started the game for the Phillies and he was opposed by Jose Berrios for Toronto. Berrios came into the season as a contender for the AL Cy Young award but has far underachieved those standards. The righty entered the game with an ERA of 5.42, which is the highest of his career when he throws at least 60 innings. The opportunity was going to be there for the ‘Phils to score runs.
But, the first runs of the game came in the bottom of the first inning when Teoscar Hernandez doubled in Bo Bichette and George Springer to give the Blue Jays the early 2-0 lead. Bellatti, who started the game as an opener, gave up those two runs in his only inning of work. The Phillies answered in the top of the second thanks to three straight singles from Bryson Stott, Matt Vierling, and Odubel Herrera. With Herrera’s single driving in the first run for the Phillies.
Mark Appel came in for Bellatti in the second inning and threw quite well. Appel kept the Blue Jays at two runs until Stott was able to tie the game in the top of the fourth with his fifth home run of the year. Appel gave up his only run in the bottom of the fourth after back-to-back doubles by Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and Matt Chapman.
The Blue Jays went up 3-2 and then the Phillies responded right back in the top of the fifth with a two-out single from Nick Castellanos that scored Garrett Stubbs. Jeurys Familia took the mound for Appel in the bottom of the fifth and threw one scoreless inning.
The Jays regained the lead in the bottom of six when Gurriel Jr. hit an RBI double off of Familia. Then Corey Knebel entered with second and third with only one out. After a walk to load the bases Knebel got back-to-back huge outs to keep the deficit at only one.
Through six innings the ‘Phils trailed 4-3 despite their abnormally high strikeout rate. Berrios struck out 13 batters through his six innings of work and was pulled from the game to start the seventh. Sadly, after Berrios left the game the Phillies bats went quiet. The Toronto bullpen held the Phillies to one hit over the last three innings and this was another difficult loss for the Phillies to swallow.
The Phillies send their ace to the hill tomorrow in the likes of Zack Wheeler. He will be opposed by Ross Stripling of the Blue Jays. After a bullpen game like this one, it will be crucial for Wheeler to go deep into the game to give the bullpen a rest and the Phillies their best chance of victory.