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Fooled Him With a Cutter: Phillies 9 Padres 7

The Phillies top bullpen arms somehow have enough in the tank to squeeze out a victory over the struggling Padres.

MLB: Philadelphia Phillies at San Diego Padres Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

The San Diego Padres enter Monday night in the middle of a disastrous season. Despite a very good run differential, they sit eight games below .500 with little to no chance at a playoff run.

Rich Hill took the mound for them, who has an 8.50 ERA in five appearances since being acquired at the trade deadline.

That ERA would only grow after the first inning. Kyle Schwarber worked a full count then spat on a tough curveball for a leadoff walk.

Trea Turner then slapped a single to left field to put runners on first and second. With one out, Bryce Harper walked to load the bases.

Alec Bohm immediately took a first-pitch slider down the left-field line for a three-run double to give the Phillies the lead. Hill got out of the first inning with a Cristian Pache ground ball but it took him 32 pitches.

Taijuan Walker has had his own struggles with a 6.66 ERA in the first inning (the Phillies should consider using an opener). Like Hill, Walker’s first-inning ERA won’t be any lower with this home run by Fernando Tatis Jr.

Walker got out of the first inning with a strikeout to Xander Bogaerts but it took him 28 pitches as well.

Edmundo Sosa has his teammate’s back however, he matches Tatis with a homer of his own.

It only gets worse for Hill, Schwarber crushed a 113.4 mph single right past the diving Matthew Batten at second base.

Turner stepped up and crushed a four-seam fastball to the Western Metal Supply Company. He hit it 110.5 mph, his hardest batted ball of the season.

Matt Waldron and his fancy knuckleball came in and got out of the second inning. Since the Padres need some guys to finish this game, he is taking on the long-man duties for the third.

The Phillies would get to him immediately in the third. First, it’s a Stott single to left field. Pache took a hanging slider to the gap in left-center field to make it 7-1. Sosa immediately lined a double to left to bring home Pache to make it 8-1. He stole third while Schwarber worked a walk.

Taijuan had some struggles in the fourth. Bogaerts walked to lead off the inning then Walker walked Batten with two outs. Grisham then hit a single up the middle to make it 8-2.

The damage didn’t stop there, with two runners in scoring position, Ha-Seong Kim ripped a single to bring home two more and make it 8-4. Walker got bailed out but a check swing grounder by Tatis but the damage was already done.

Kyle Schwarber got one back in the fifth with a bullet to right field. His second ball hit at exactly 113.4 mph for the day.

Walker made it through five, giving him a chance to earn win number 15 (wins are not a good stat). He threw 103 pitches and walked three batters.

Andrew Bellatti came in for the sixth and the Padres were able to cut the deficit. Batten slapped a single into right then Trent Grisham hit a single into center field. On a two-strike pitch, Kim spun a single into center to make it 9-5.

After a fly ball from Tatis to get the second out, Gregory Soto came in to face Juan Soto. Gregory got out of it with a lineout to left, keeping the Phillies lead at four.

With bullpen arms like Seranthony Domínguez, José Alvarado, and Matt Strahm pitching heavy workloads in Milwaukee, Soto returns for the seventh.

Manny Machado led off the inning with a walk followed by a double from Bogaerts to put runners on second and third.

Garrett Cooper hit a sacrifice fly to make it 9-6. Soto could not settle down, Gary Sanchez lined a double past Alec Bohm to make it 9-7.

Jeff Hoffman came in for the third time in four nights to try and settle everything down. Batten hit a lazy fly ball to left followed by a Grisham strike out. Hoffman is probably going to be unavailable tomorrow.

With the top of the Padres order up in the eighth, Thomson goes to Craig Kimbrel to try and keep it at a two-run game. After a Kim flyout, Tatis and Soto walked, then stole to put runners on second and third.

Machado worked a seven-pitch at-bat but was in front on a nasty curveball for a strikeout. Bogaerts chopped a 104 mph ground ball to Bohm for Kimbrel to narrowly escape disaster.

For the ninth, it’s Alvarado’s turn to make things interesting. He is just coming back from the injured list and he threw 17 pitches on Sunday.

Garrett Cooper and Sanchez worked walks to lead off the ninth. Matthew Batten chopped a ball to shortstop for a force out.

With runners on first and third with one out, Bob Melvin has Luis Campusano hit for Grisham for the platoon advantage. Alvarado threw struck him out on four pitches including two nasty cutters down at his feet.

Next was Kim, who worked a three-one-count to start the at-bat. Alvarado wants no part of Tatis on deck so he challenges him with a fastball that’s foul straight back. With the count full, Alvarado tricks Kim with a cutter right down the middle to freeze him for strike three.

Somehow, someway, the Phillies hung on to finish out a stressful night. They walked eight batters and allowed ten hits but did enough to finish with a win.

Tomorrow at 9:40 it’s Michael Lorenzen taking on Pedro Avila, who’s making his fourth start of the season.