Tuesday night was a must win game for the Phillies. And thanks to J.T. Realmuto the Phillies won.
Realmuto hit a walk off triple to win it for the Phils in the 10th.
The win left the Phillies at 77-74 with 11 games to play. They will at least keep pace with first-place Atlanta, which entered the game up three games in the NL East and is playing a late game in Arizona.
Tuesday night was a bullpen game for the Phils. Adonis Medina got the start and looked promising for the first three innings.
His pitch count heading into the fourth was manageable, so they stuck with him, hoping to squeeze a few more pitches, maybe a few more outs out of him.
Unfortunately, they might have left him in for a bit too long. He started off by getting the first two outs of the inning, but then hit a batter and walked a batter. Ramon Urias stepped up as a pinch hitter and flared a ball into leftfield, bringing in Richie Martin and giving the Orioles the lead.
This being the Phillies, this lead felt huge. For some reason, the Phillies’ offense has gone dormant against this vaunted Orioles pitching staff, the one with the 5.91 ERA headed into the night’s game. However, they had shutout the Phillies for nine innings Monday night and continued through the first five innings of tonight. There were chances, especially in the third when Jean Segura got a walk with one out, then went to third on a single by Bryce Harper, but Harper’s foolish baserunning trying to stretch a single into a double got him thrown out by about five feet at second for the second out of the inning, ending a potential rally for the team.
Aggressiveness is fine, but that wasn’t aggressive — that was bad baserunning.
The sixth inning saw the Phillies finally breakthrough when J.T. Realmuto hit a one out double, then scored on a line drive double into the gap by Andrew McCutchen.
And that would be the end of the offense for both teams through nine innings of baseball. What does that mean? Extra innings!
Except this is the Phillies. With the extra runner on second rule (which I’m not a fan of, at all by the way), Austin Hays ripped a double off of Ian Kennedy to give the Orioles the lead in the top of the 10th.
Headed into the bottom of the inning, Ronald Torreyes took second base as the extra runner. Odubel Herrera hit a scorching groundball that was somehow kept in the infield, but Torreyes was able to get to third. Segura struck out for the second out, meaning Harper would be intentionally walked.
It was all going to be up to J.T. Realmuto. And he delivered.
Realmuto smocked a 2-1 changeup down the line in right field. The ball stayed fair and one hopped the wall. Torreyes scored easily, but Harper looked like the flash as he rounded third and scored the winning run.
Thank goodness. Losing another game to the Orioles would have been absolutely devastating to this team’s playoff chances. But it didn’t happen Tuesday night!