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The offense make like Bueller and take the day off: Dodgers 9, Phillies 0

The winning streak ends in spectacular Phillies fashion

Los Angeles Dodgers v Philadelphia Phillies Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images

Whelp. What a way to end a winning streak.

Rookie Bobby Miller started for the Dodgers (37-28) today. The 24-year old has impressed in his first three starts in the majors. With an arsenal of pitches highlighted by a mach-speed sinker, he’s given up a single earned run to each Atlanta and Washington, and earlier this month allowed the Yankees only a single hit and no runs over six innings. Today he brought his dominance on the mound to bear against the Phillies.

The Phillies made Miller work for his lunch in the second inning, forcing him throw 33 pitches and loading the bases, and running his pitch count up to 49 by the end of the inning. The Phillies continued running the gag where they put runners on base but fail to allow any of them to come home, so despite running up Miller’s pitch count the Phillies hung a goose egg on the scoreboard. The rookie went on to give the Dodgers six solid innings, scattering three hits and no runs.

It was the most fight the Fightin’s put up all day, who fell to 31-33.

Much of this season has felt like a coin toss decides which version of Nola takes the mound. In his last outing, Nola went seven full innings, striking out twelve and allowing the Tigers one hit - a homer that resulted in three runs. For most of this afternoon, the kid from Baton Rouge pitched decently and, had the bats had done their job, kept the game within reasonable reach through the first six innings.

In the third inning and with two outs, Chris Taylor hit a double that bounced off the centerfield fence and missed going out of the park by inches. James Outman followed up with a line drive to left field that drove in Taylor. Mookie Betts singled to drive in Outman. Freddie Freeman singled before Will Smith hit a fly ball to Brandon Marsh to end the inning and stop the bleeding at two runs.

In the fourth, the pendulum of Nola’s pitching proficiency proceeded to pivot back and forth. After getting both Max Muncy and J.D. Martinez to chase third strikes, he allowed a home run for the tenth straight game he’s started, this time a two-out dinger to David Peralta. It’s Nola’s fourteenth home run of the season. For context, he allowed nineteen in all of 2022.

An uneventful sixth inning was spiced up when Rob Thomson was tossed after arguing with the umps over issuing Nola a warning for requesting a new ball. If Nola was in fact trying to buy himself time between pitches, he got a lot more than he probably expected as Thomson gave the umps an expletive filled earful. The crowd at Citizens Bank Park rose to their feet and applauded Topper as he strode back to the dugout.

Nola’s day ended in the seventh after Taylor singled, Outman walked, and Betts singled to drive in the Dodgers’ fourth run. Nola went 6.1 innings and gave up six earned runs on seven hits, two walks, and he struck out seven.

Jeff Hoffman came in and immediately went to work on putting the game out of reach. He started with loading the bases by hitting Freeman in the foot. Will Smith hit into a fielder’s choice to drive in another run. A wild pitch allowed Betts to score from third. Martinez followed up with a three-run home run to left field. Peralta doubled, and Hoffman was shown the exit and replaced with Yunior Marte. Heyward, who started the obstreperous inning with a pop out, ended it with a ground out.

Dylan Covey pitched the eighth, and in a pleasantly surprising turn of events sat the side down in order. Covey challenged every batter he faced, using a mix of sliders, sinkers, and cutters to strike out Chris Taylor and James Outman and get Miguel Vargas to pop up to Clemons at first.

Four Phillies combined for six hits - and three of those came off the bat of Bryson Stott (his third three-hit game of the season). Despite winning the last six games, the offense failed to beat up on teams and pitchers who they should have been able to run up the score against. Today, against a decent pitcher, the offense completely shut down.

Kody Clemens stretched his hitting streak to five games. Covey climbed the steps of the dugout to take the mound again for the ninth, but he was pulled back and benched for Clemens. In his third pitching appearance, Clemens sat down the side, throwing only five pitches to do so. He hits. He pitches. This kid should lead the All-Star voting this year.

Let’s get them tomorrow and win the series.

Up Next

The Phillies wrap up the series against the Trolley Dodgers, and the last game of the homestand, tomorrow at 1:35. Taijuan Walker is scheduled to start for the Phillies. Originally scheduled to return from the 15-day IL to start tomorrow’s game for the Dodgers, Julio Urías has been scratched after not feeling fully recovered after a bullpen session on Thursday, according to Fabian Ardaya of the Athletic, and will likely need a rehab assignment. Your guess as to who will get the ball tomorrow for the bad guys is as good as anyone’s.

Observations from Left Field

  • Does anyone have more fun than John Kruk when he’s able to draw on the screen? Also, how many of you caught caught his comment about the pitch called a strike at Liam’s knees?
  • Andrew Painter was scheduled to throw a short bullpen session today. While he’s not expected to make an appearance against an actual opponent anytime soon, a good session today will be another step closer to his debut in the majors. Of course, since we’re not allowed nice things, his arm will probably fall off, crawl away to the airport, and defect to Russia.
  • Forget Freedie Freeloafer. Let’s stuff the All-Star ballot with votes Kody Clemens for first base.
  • If you haven’t voted in the latest round of Smarty’s Tournament of Randomness, please consider doing your civic duty and casting a ballot. Also, not to sound judge-y, but you have to be some kind of bigoted lowlife sadist NOT to vote for the Folger’s commercial.

How will the Phillies hit Miami’s Bullpen?

Rise and Phight: 10/2/2023

Bring on Tuesday: Phillies 9, Mets 1