Wow, wow, wow. There is a ton to talk about here, so let’s just dive right in.
First, if you are insane like me and stayed up until 2:30 AM to see the conclusion of this 10-inning ball game, give yourself a round of applause. You deserve it. If you didn’t stay up, you’re smarter than the rest of us, and you spared your blood pressure from rising.
It started off with the news breaking that eventual Hall of Famer, Clayton Kershaw, would not be starting this game due to inflammation in his right SI joint. However, if you expected a bullpen game from the Dodgers, you would be gravely mistaken. Instead, they trotted out their other ace, Walker Buehler. Heading into this game, Buehler had a 4-1 record with a 1.96 ERA.
On the mound for the Phillies was Kyle Gibson, who has been solid so far in 2022, with a 3-1 record and 2.94 ERA. However, neither starter had it going for them tonight.
We head to the top of the 2nd inning, where rookie Bryson Stott broke the 0-0 tie by knocking a 2 RBI single into left field, scoring Rhys Hoskins and Odubel Herrera. Whether it’s Max Scherzer or Walker Buehler, Stott is starting to get into a rhythm at the Major League level.
Jumping to the 3rd inning, this is where things start to heat up. First, Bryce Harper gets his first of three XBHs in the ball game with a double, but was left in a scoring position.
Gibson, who was cruising through the first 2 innings, started to fall apart in the 3rd. He was losing command, and it showed quickly. The Dodgers would pile on four XBHs in this inning, and before you knew it, it was all of a sudden 5-2 in favor of the Dodgers.
However, the Phillies did not give in. In the 4th inning, Bryson Stott cashed in another RBI single, but the moment from this inning that was all too familiar to us was a 2-run HR from Kyle Schwarber that was reminiscent of the Matt Stairs pinch hit HR in the 2008 NLCS at this very same stadium. This baseball was absolutely demolished with a projected distance of 430 feet, and an exit velocity of 114 mph. Feast your eyes.
Kyle Gibson would give up his 6th run in the bottom of the 4th inning, wrapping up his night. Gibson finished with 3.2 IP, 8 H, 6 ER, 1 K, 1 BB, and 69 pitches. James Norwood was the first out of the bullpen and he got the job done. Norwood closed out the 4th and 5th innings for the Phillies, allowing 0 ER on 0 hits and 3 punch-outs. His splitter was looking especially fantastic in his 1.1 IP.
The Phillies offense struck fire again in the 6th inning. Camargo led it off with a single, followed by Stott and Schwarber walks, and an Alec Bohm sac-fly to centerfield. Bryce Harper did it again with an RBI double scoring Stott. Castellanos pitched in as well with an RBI single to left field. Don’t worry, you’ll be hearing more about these guys later.
Things are looking good. The Phillies lead 8-6 going into the bottom of the 6th inning, but as we all know, no lead is safe. Bellatti entered the game and with two outs allowed back-to-back singles from Barnes and Betts, ending his night quickly. Brad Hand would be the next call out of the bullpen, and he got off to a shaky start. Walking Freddie Freeman to load the bases for Trea Turner, resulting in an RBI hit-by-pitch. Score is now 8-7 Phillies.
Things would settle down for the 7th inning, as both teams held the other scoreless. We jumped to the top of the 8th inning, where you guessed it, Bryce Harper did it again. His third XBH of the game was an absolute laser beam to right field, making the score 9-7 Phils.
It is now the bottom of the 9th, score is still 9-7 Phillies, and Jeurys Familis is called out of the bullpen to close this game. Which turns into a Trea Turner lead-off single, followed by a Muncy fielder’s choice, and then Justin Turner hits an absolute no-doubter to deep left field, sucking all of the energy out of Phillies fans everywhere. Not again, right? Family escapes, we are now headed to extras and it is extremely late, or early however you want to look at it.
Flame thrower, Brusdar Graterol, is on the mound for LA in the top of the 10th. Roman Quinn has entered the game, and is on second. Bohm, like the fundamental hitter he is, grounds out to the right-hand side to get Quinn over to third. Harper is intentionally walked (rightfully), and Castellanos steps into the box. Castellanos smokes it down the third base line, scoring both Quinn and Harper.
There was a throwing error to third base by catcher Austin Barnes, leading to Castellanos scoring, making it 12-9 Phillies.
Deep breath. It is 12-9. The Phillies go with recent call up Francisco Morales, and understandably he is wild to start. He walked the first two batters he faced, instantly loading the bases. Facing Mookie Betts with the bases loaded in extra innings is not ideal for your second ever major league appearance. Morales showed he can be a grinder, forcing Betts into a double play, scoring a run. Morales walks Freeman, and it is all up to Trea Turner. Thankfully, Morales gets him to ground out to Stott at shortstop, getting the force out at second base. Morales gets his first career save, Phillies win.
12-10 is your final score, and the Phillies take the first two games in impressive, resilient fashion, against probably the best team in baseball. The series is not over though. It would be a huge moment for this team not only at this point in the season, but moving forward to handle the Dodgers on the road. There is more work to be done. See you all tomorrow for the third game of the series at 10:10 PM EST. Two lefties, Urias and Suarez, will be facing off.
Ring that bell, baby.