He couldn’t do it. Instead, he allowed five runs, and his ineptitude required the Phillies to call upon Seranthony Dominguez to close things out. Fortunately, Dominguez is far more competent than Familia, and the Phillies came away with a much closer than it should have been 8-7 win.
The game started off with everyone’s favorite scorebug:
it has been a long, grueling season so far. but we've made it. we've made it to The P00P Series™ pic.twitter.com/Rjhdln2dwF— Absolutely Hammered (@AH_Pod) July 28, 2022
But the POOP didn’t last long. Four batters into the game, Darick Hall gave the Phillies a 2-0 lead.
Nick Castellanos followed with an RBI single, and the Phillies were rolling. The following inning, Alec Bohm’s hot streak (ten hits over the past four games) continued as he hit an RBI single.
In the sixth, Kyle Schwarber murdered a ball, giving the Phillies a 7-0 lead.
Didi Gregorius made the lead 8-0 an inning later, and against a dreadful Pirates offense (but really, against ANY offense) that should have been plenty of runs. Starting pitcher Zack Wheeler did his part, limiting the Pirates to two runs in his seven innings. And Corey Knebel worked around two baserunners in the eighth to keep the lead at six.
A six-run lead seemed like a good opportunity to get Familia some work. Because if you can’t use a guy with a six-run lead, when can you use him?
Apparently with Familia, the answer is never. He’s not a viable major league pitcher at this point (he hasn’t really been one all season), and if there’s one bright side of tonight’s mess, it's that the Phillies’ front office can’t possibly deny that fact any longer. He retired the first batter, but then the next five reached base, capped off by Kevin Newman’s triple.
Kevin Newman and the Pirates are making Phillies fans sweat this one out pic.twitter.com/XOuCDwQrkw— Talkin’ Baseball (@TalkinBaseball_) July 29, 2022
That prompted Familia’s removal - hopefully the last time we ever see him in a Phillies uniform - and the arrival of Dominguez. Dominguez allowed a run to score on an RBI groundout, but then got the next batter to end the threat.
A win counts the same in the standings no matter how ugly it is. And if the Phillies win the three remaining games in this series in a similarly ugly fashion, I probably won’t complain too much. But I’d certainly prefer it if they play more like they did in the first eight innings of this one, and cruise to an easy win instead.