The first place Phillies are leading the bumpy NL East ship. At least, for the next few hours.
On a day that it felt like 103 degrees at Citizens Bank Park, the Phillies delivered with a 2-1 victory over the defending World Series champions Los Angeles Dodgers. Ranger Suarez gave the Phils a solid 4.1 innings and the bullpen was near-perfect all the way from Enyel De Los Santos to closer Ian Kennedy.
Oh the Phillies! Today was a very important victory for Philadelphia. Hopefully, today’s win will get the Phightin Phils back on the winning track.
After a scoreless inning from Ranger Suarez in the first, Bryce Harper came up big in the bottom half of that inning. He crushed an opposite field home run on a 1-0 fastball from Dodgers starter Mitch White.
In the fourth, Ronald Torreyes poked an RBI single up the middle to give the Phillies a 2-0 lead.
White took the loss as he surrendered two earned runs and struck four while walking three over four innings of work. He came into today’s game with 3.75 ERA with most of his innings coming from the bullpen. Similar to the Phillies, the Dodgers bullpen was electric today. Alex Vesia, Phil Bickford, Justin Bruihl, and Kenley Jansen combined for four scoreless innings and only allowed two base runners.
Despite the hot and steamy conditions, Ranger Suarez delivered, big time. He threw 4.1 scoreless and only allowed one run to cross the plate. His slider was electric and he was painting corners with his fastball.
“When I watch Ranger, it’s like a walk in the park,” Archie Bradley commented on Ranger Suarez’s demeanor when he pitches. “I am so jealous of that guy.”
With two on and one out, Phils manager Joe Girardi made a switch and turned to righty Enyel De Los Santos to get out of the jam. Following a wild pitch and an RBI groundout, it was back to being a one run game. After that minor miscue, there was no stopping the Phillies relievers. Hector Neris continued his run of dominance as he threw a scoreless inning with a punch out. Neris has settled into his role in the seventh inning very nicely.
Now, if we’re talking bullpen, you can’t leave out Archie Bradley. He is another Phillies reliever that has been untouchable as of late. He came through with two innings of perfect pitching. Said, he perfectly set up Ian Kennedy to save the game.
In the ninth, there were two very questionable calls by home plate umpire Alfonso Marquez. Two 3-2 pitches by Ian Kennedy were strikes that were called balls. This eventually led to the ejection of Girardi. With two outs and the bases loaded, Kennedy was able to get Billy McKinney to hit a fly ball to straight away left field to seal the deal in South Philly.
In the postgame, Girardi mentioned that Kennedy proved that he is capable of a five-out save since he was able to do it in theory this afternoon.
Now, the Phillies are 0.5 games north of the second place Atlanta Braves and have officially reached the 60 win mark as of this afternoon.