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Heroics wasted: Giants 8, Phillies 6

J.T. Realmuto and Craig Kimbrel wasted Bryce Harper’s clutch home run

MLB: San Francisco Giants at Philadelphia Phillies
A poor game by Craig Kimbrel wasted a clutch home run by Bryce Harper
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

When Bryce Harper hit a game-tying three-run home run in the bottom of the ninth, it felt like a series-sweeping victory was in hand for the Phillies. Unfortunately, J.T. Realmuto couldn’t come through in the clutch, and Craig Kimbrel had an off-night, allowing Gabe Kapler and the Giants to salvage the final game of the series with an 8-6 tenth-inning win.

The game started off normally enough. The Giants had an actual starting pitcher in the game in Alex Cobb, and he pitched effectively through the first five innings, keeping the Phillies off the scoreboard.

He was opposed by Michael Lorenzen, who drew Aaron Nola comparisons, and not in a good way.

Lorenzen gave up four runs - thanks in part to two home runs allowed - in his 5.2 innings. All the “Lorenzen should start game two of a playoff series” should quiet down, as he’s showing he’s much closer to a number four caliber starter than a top of the rotation guy.

The Phillies’ offense finally got untracked in the sixth when Kyle Schwarber and Trea Turner led off the frame with back-to-back home runs.

While back-to-back home runs are always welcome, it had a negative effect in that it prompted the removal of Cobb from the game.

The next few innings were a grind to watch. Kapler kept bringing new pitchers in, multiple runners would get on board, but the inning would inevitably end without a run being scored.

The Giants blooped home a run in the seventh, putting the Phillies’ deficit at three heading into the ninth. It was then that Kapler called upon Camilo Doval, fresh off a blown save on Tuesday night. Doval walked the first two batters, and then this happened.

Doval is poised to become the new Jonathan Broxton, and if he has to pitch in an important situation at Citizens Bank Park in the playoffs, it likely won’t go well for him.

Nick Castellanos followed with a single, and advanced to third on a stolen base and wild pitch. J.T. Realmuto could have extended the inning, but with a full count, he swung at a pitch that was about a foot away from the plate. That at bat capped off an 0-5, three strikeout game.

Kimbrel was called upon to preserve the tie in the tenth, and it was quickly very obvious that he didn’t have it. He walked the first batter on four pitches and hit the next. Paul DeJong (3-4 with four RBIs on the day) followed with a single that put the Giants up by two.

The damage was minimized by Johan Rojas who made an outstanding catch in center field, and then doubled the runner off first. Unfortunately, his throw came a second after the runner on third tagged up, giving the Giants a three-run lead.

Edmundo Sosa’s double in the bottom of the inning cut the deficit to two, but sadly, the Phillies didn’t have another comeback left in them.

The loss was annoying as it could have given the Phillies even more breathing room between them and another Wild Card contender. It was also annoying in that it somewhat validated Kapler’s hyper-managing that is a blight on the game of baseball.