This time, the other team collapsed in the field. And so did the netting behind home plate.
The Philadelphia Phillies came back from an early three-run deficit to win a series with a 12-6 victory over the Washington Nationals.
The game lasted 4 hours and 26 minutes in front of just 15,108 fans.
The Phillies are 28-30 after the series win. They took two-of-three from the Nationals.
Here’s three takeaways:
This was a bizarre one to say the least
It was a long, slow, strange game.
There was a delay in the first inning when home plate umpire Brian O’Nora left with an apparent illness.
There was a delay in the third inning when Nationals pitcher Austin Voth was hit in the face by a 90 mph fastball.
But the strangest thing of all happened in the eighth inning.
It was a four-hour-long battle in steaming hot South Philly before the stadium fought back in the top of the eighth. But around 4:44 p.m., the net behind catcher J.T. Realmuto decided it’d seen enough from Trea Turner and tumbled towards the seats:
What followed was 20 minutes and 21 seconds of absolute chaos at Citizens Bank Park.
The grounds crew jumped into action to try and rectify the situation with many physics lessons, an engine, and just pure determination. They had to figure out how to get the fencing back up — and then how to keep it there.
At one point, a John Deere tractor was employed to solve the nightmare:
At one point, Archie Bradley — who walked two in a 20-pitch appearance Sunday — couldn’t help but laugh at the insanity of it all:
Between the Philadelphia 76ers taking a tough loss to the Atlanta Hawks across the street, and the Phillies’ series-ending game vs. the Nationals go down into performance art, who knows what was floating around down at the Stadium Complex on Sunday afternoon. It certainly wasn’t just thick, humid June air.
The key inning for the Phillies was the fourth. They scored seven runs thanks to clutch hitting, patience at the plate, and numerous mistakes by the Nationals on the mound and in the field.
With one out, J.T. Realmuto walked and Bryce Harper hit an infield single. Rhys Hoskins popped a ball up behind first base that was dropped by Jordy Mercer to load the bases. The next four Phillies reached base on Andrew McCutchen’s RBI single, bases-loaded walks from Brad Miller, and Alec Bohm and then a bad decision on a ground ball to third baseman Starlin Castro, who threw late to second for a fielder’s choice rather than run to the third-base bag for a forceout.
Another Phillies run scored on a wild pitch, and Odubel Herrera capped the rally with a two-out, two-run single.
In a season when the Phillies have made so many costly gaffes defensively, this was a glimpse of what it’s been like on the other side.
The Phils tacked on plenty of insurance on two homers — a two-run bomb by Miller to the second deck in right field and a three-run shot by Realmuto, the 100th of his career.
Bullpen comes in to help Velasquez
Vince Velasquez did not qualify for a win because he was pinch-hit for in the fourth inning, but he kept the Phillies in the game.
In a 30-pitch third inning, he hit the first two batters then allowed a run on back-to-back singles to Trea Turner and Juan Soto. But with the bases loaded and nobody out, Velasquez focused up to strike out Josh Bell and Kyle Schwarber, escaping the inning when Castro popped out.
The Phillies needed some wiggle room with those homers that I mentioned earlier because Brandon Kintzler gave up three runs in the sixth inning as his ERA sky rocketed to 8.50.
An inning earlier, Archie Bradley walked the first two batters before navigating his way out of trouble. Bradley hasn’t pitched well either, putting 18 men on base in 9 1/3 innings this season.
The teams combined to use 12 pitchers. Hard-throwing lefty Cristopher Sanchez made his MLB debut in relief for the Phillies and retired all four batters he faced. He was called up earlier in the day when Chase Anderson and David Hale went on the COVID injured list.
The Phillies are off Monday. They face the Braves at home for a three game series. They’ll start the series with Aaron Nola on the bump.