June 5, 2023

Takeaways after Andrew Knapp walks it off to avoid sweep


Photo via Philadelphia Phillies' Twitter

The Philadelphia Phillies blew a three-run lead in the seventh inning then rallied back twice to beat the San Francisco Giants, 6-5, Wednesday afternoon.

The win saved the Phillies from being swept by former manager’s, Gabe Kapler’s Giants.

Kapler managed the Phillies for two seasons and was fired in October 2019. He was still able to lead his club to a series win in his first trip back to Philadelphia.

The Phillies finished the homestand with three wins and three losses. They are 9-9 on the season.

Here are three takeaways:

Harper stays red hot

Bryce Harper stays red hot as he tied the game with his fourth homer of the season, a solo shot to right. It was Harper’s 11th hit in the last five games.

Harper led off the bottom ninth inning with a walk against Wandy Peralta and moved to second on Brad Miller’s fourth hit of the game. Then Andrew Knapp ripped one into left field to walk it off.

The Phillies got some early production from their awful center field position in taking a 3-0 lead in the second inning. Mickey Moniak worked a full count against San Francisco starter Anthony DeSclafani and lined a sinker over the left-field wall for a three-run homer. It was Moniak’s first big-league home run and the first RBIs that the Phillies have gotten from the center field position all season.

The Phillies were without second baseman Jean Segura, one of their leading hitters. He was placed on the injured list before the game with a quad strain. That meant the Phillies played without both of their starting middle infielders. Didi Gregorius missed the entire series with a sore right elbow. The Phillies used rookie Nick Maton at shortstop and Miller at second base. Maton had three hits. 

With Segura on the injured list, the Phillies recalled Kingery from the alternate site.

Eflin’s outing

Phillies starter Zach Eflin allowed just one run through six innings and was pulled at 86 pitches for pinch-hitter Scott Kingery in the bottom of the inning. Kingery struck out.

Phillies manager Joe Girardi’s decision to pull Eflin may have had something to do with the 44-minute rain delay in the third inning. It’s likely that Eflin threw some pitches in the indoor cages to stay loose during the delay.

Kintzler blows lead to former Phillie

Brandon Kintzler had a 4-1 lead in the top of the seventh and quickly deleted it. He gave up a double and a single with no outs then allowed a three-run, pinch-hit homer to Darin Ruf with one out.

Yes Darin Ruf. The former Phillie, who spent three seasons playing in Korea before joining the Giants last year, hit an 0-2 pitch that caught way too much plate. It landed over the centerfield wall.

With the game tied, JoJo Romero replaced Kintzler and got the second out. The lefty then appeared to be out of the inning but the Phillies’ season-long weakness — defense — failed JoJo when left fielder Andrew McCutchen dropped a routine fly ball by Mike Yastrzemski for a two-base error. The Giants immediately capitalized and went ahead on an RBI hit by Alex Dickerson.

Up next

The 9-9 Phillies open a seven-game road trip to Denver and St. Louis on Friday night at Coors Field. Vince Velasquez will make his first start of the season against the 6-12 Colorado Rockies Friday night.

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