This has been a miserable week. Facing the Diamondbacks and Giants was going to be a tough test as it always is going west at the end of the season. They played bad baseball for most of this week and though it didn’t happen as much today, they still limp home having lost six out of seven and needing to improve, quickly.
The game started as a pitcher’s duel for a little while. The Phillies were facing Carlos Rodon, who should be in line for a decent amount of middling Cy Young votes while the Giants were up against Ranger Suarez. The first three innings went pretty well for both pitchers, but in the fourth, the Giants got to Suarez. He went to a full count on the first three batters of the inning, walking two, then allowing the first run on a single to Lamonte Wade, Jr. After getting a strikeout for the second out of the inning, Suarez threw a wild pitch that allowed the runners to move up a base to second and third, an issue since the next batter, Austin Wynns, singled to drive in another run. Bryce Johnson would single in the next run, but Wynns was gunned down at third after the run scored, making it 3-0 and ending Suarez’s day. It was only 69 not very nice pitches for Suarez, but one has to wonder if the team was watching his workload as the season enters September.
Against Rodon, the Phillies didn’t have many chances, but the ones they did have, they couldn’t capitalize on. The biggest one came in the sixth when Rhys Hoskins doubled, then Alec Bohm singled to put runners on the corners with no one out. Rodon, who has been excellent this year, decided to reach back for a little more in the inning, likely knowing it was his last. He blew strikes past Bryce Harper for the first out, then doing the same to Jean Segura after walking J.T. Realmuto to load the bases. With two outs and the bases full, Rodon faced Bryson Stott and simply threw the fastball past him, striking out Stott and ending the huge threat the Phillies made.
Finally though, the offense did break through in the eighth. Bohm and Harper had back to back singles with one out, bringing Realmuto up against John Brebbia. Getting a 2-0 slider up, Realmuto drilled it into the left field stands, tying the game at three and giving a jolt of energy to the team.
An unheralded part of this game was the Phillies’ bullpen. Nick Nelson escaped a big men on second and third, no out jam in the fifth. Vinny Nittoli and Sam Coonrod were very good in their appearances and David Robertson was good in the bottom half of the eighth. Rob Thomson decided to stick with Robertson again in the ninth inning and after walking Johnson to start the inning, he looked to be getting out of it by striking out the next two hitters. That brought Wilmer Flores up, who apparently knew Robertson was going to throw a hanging slider, got it and rocketed the ball of the foul pole.
What more can you say? This was the road trip from hell for the Phillies. The only thing they can do is go back home, regroup and play better baseball against the Marlins and Nationals. Easier said than done, but it has to happen.