May 28, 2023

Ian Kennedy blows Phillies’ 30th save as he gives up home run with 2 strikes and 2 outs in killer loss to Rockies


AP Photo/Matt Slocum

The Phillies were a strike away from a series-opening victory against the Colorado Rockies. All Ian Kennedy had to do was make one pitch to Ryan McMahon, who came in to pinch-hit for Yonathan Daza. McMahon saw four fastballs in the at-bat and fouled off three of them. The fifth curveball hung on the lower inside part of the plate. And just like that, the Phillies were down by a run.

The next batter Sam Hilliard had a 3-2 count. He homered. It was the 65th home run the Phillies have given up with two strikes this season, the seventh most in baseball.

The Phils lost to the Rockies 4-3 in heart-wrenching fashion.

The Phillies could have overcame one two-strike home run in the ninth. They scored a run off Carlos Estévez in the ninth and stranded the tying run at third base. The Phillies have a knack for theatrical late-inning losses in September and this is their second one in less than a week.

The Atlanta Braves and Washington Nationals are currently tied heading into the bottom of the ninth. If the Braves win, the Phillies will fall 3.5 games out of first place in the NL East.

Phillies have blown 30 saves this season. It’s the most in the majors and a single-season team record. The bullpen has given up 78 homers, fifth-most in majors.

The Phillies badly needed a quality start out of Ranger Suárez, and they got that in six innings of five hit baseball. He must not be dealing with much arm soreness this time around as he was able to pitch into the sixth inning. His fastball sat around 93 in the sixth, which is a good sign considering it’s been down in his last two starts.

Héctor Neris and José Alvarado pitched well in relief.

MVP candidate Bryce Harper went 2-for-4 and hit his 30th home run of the season. Héctor Neris and José Alvarado pitched well in relief.

Friday will be a bullpen game for the Phillies. So that’ll be a blast.

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