December 10, 2023

Oh, so close: Phillies take three of four in Los Angeles


Philadelphia Phillies' Bryce Harper, right, gestures toward his dugout as he heads to first after hitting a three-run home run as Los Angeles Dodgers catcher Austin Barnes, center, kneels at first as home plate umpire Adrian Johnson watches during the third inning of a baseball game Saturday, May 14, 2022, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Coming off a series win vs. the Seattle Mariners, the Phillies came into Dodger Stadium and took three of the four games.

Game summaries

The Phillies’ bats were electric in the early going in the first game of this series. The Phillies’ offense was very awake, as they accumulated four runs in the first two innings. Bryce Harper, Kyle Schwarber, and Johan Carmargo all pitched in to make the scoring happen against Dodgers’ starting pitcher Tyler Anderson.

In the bottom half of the third inning, Phillies starter Zack Wheeler gave up a run as Cody Bellinger hit a rocket to deep right field. At this point, the Phillies were up only three runs. They continued to produce runs in the top of the fourth inning, where Johan Carmargo hit a sacrifice fly, and Jean Segura scored on a throwing error by Dodgers second baseman Gavin Lux.

In the top of the fifth, Alec Bohm got on, and Bryce Harper doubled him in. This made it 6-1 Phillies. Kyle Schwarber increased the lead by a run thanks to a sacrifice-fly in right field.

Reliever Jose Alvarado entered the game, and things went down the drain for the Phillies after the top half of the sixth inning. Will Smith hit a two-run double, and an inning later, he hit another RBI single.

The Dodgers kept adding more to their comeback in the bottom of the eighth. Justin Turner added a two-run double, and Chris Taylor added an RBI single. Although the Dodgers were producing runs, they fell short, and the Phillies took advantage of their scoring opportunities.

Phillies starting pitcher, Zack Wheeler, was reinstated off the COVID-related injured list. He started Thursday night and allowed three earned runs on six hits in 5.1 innings. Andrew Bellatti picked up the win, as he relieved Jose Alvarado in the eighth. The Phillies ended up getting the 9-7 victory.

Coming off a stellar performance on Thursday, the Phillies continued to have the momentum shifted their way. as they took care of business with Kyle Gibson on the mound. Gibson struggled, as he allowed six runs in 3.2 innings of work.

The Phillies thrived offensively against Walker Buehler and the Dodgers. The Phillies started the game with two runs in the top of the second thanks to Bryson Stott’s leadoff single.

The bats continued to crank up in the fourth and sixth inning. Although the Phillies were trailing 5-3 in the top of the 4th inning, all eyes were on Kyle Schwarber, as he launched a bullet deep into right field for a home run to tie the game up at five. 

The Phillies continued to be stellar with their offensive game, as Bryce Harper got it going when he smacked a double on a sharp line drive to put the Phillies ahead by one. Later that half-inning, Nick Castellanos singled on a sharp line drive to left field to make the score 8-6.

In the top of the eighth, Bryce Harper’s power kept thriving as he punched one out of the yard to make it a 9-7 game.

Phillies reliever Jeurys Familia ran into some trouble in the bottom of the ninth, as Justin Turner hit a two-run dinger to left field.

Leaving behind that brutal bottom of half of the inning, the Phillies were all over Dodgers reliever Brusdar Gratero. Nick Castellanos doubled to score Roman Quinn and Bryce Harper. Castellanos eventually came around to score to extend the Phillies’ lead to three.

Joe Girardi put in Francisco Morales to try to get the save. It wasn’t easy, but he kept his focus and only let one run score that half inning to make the score 12-10. Morales got out of the jam and helped the Phillies get their second win of the series.

On Saturday night, the Phils connected the dots and continued to cruise by the Dodgers. The bats kept hammering away for the Phillies, as Jean Segura smoked a three-run home run in the top of the first inning. 

Following that electric offensive start, Bryce Harper came up to bat and smoked one to right field to escalate the score to 6-1. As the game progressed, the Phillies kept using the long ball to their advantage. This brought the Phillies to eight runs on four home runs in the first four innings.

Ranger Suarez pitched an incredible game. He pitched seven innings, with three strikeouts, and allowed only three runs by the Dodgers. 

Phillies’ reliever Seranthony Dominguez came into the game to take over for Suarez, and he pitched one inning, recorded one strikeout, and allowed no earned runs.

Phillies’ manager Joe Girardi made the move to bring in Connor Brogdon for the ninth, and he had a good performance to help the Phillies get three straight victories.

Well, it wasn’t what the Phillies wanted on a bright sunny Sunday afternoon at Dodger Stadium as their bullpen got cold in the ninth inning and unfortunately didn’t get what they wanted, which would’ve been a sweep.

The Phillies started off the game on a good note by taking a 4-0 lead in the top of the second as Bryson Stott reached on a fielding error by Dodgers second baseman, Gavin Lux that made the score 1-0. Next, Garrett Stubbs hit a ground-rule double on a line drive to right fielder Mookie Betts which scored Johan Camargo. The other two runs scored, thanks to Rhys Hoskins’ single of a line drive, were Stott and Stubbs.

Phillies starter Aaron Nola didn’t have the right command on the mound as he let some hits slip away even though he had eight strikeouts and let up some earned runs throughout the rest of the game. Nola pitched seven innings allowing one home run and two earned runs.

Joe Girardi made the switch late in the ninth inning to take out Phillies reliever Jeurys Familia to see if reliever Corey Knebel could get the job done in the ninth inning. It didn’t work out as the Dodgers’ offense started to get hot and tower some big hits which helped them to avoid the sweep by Philadelphia with a final score of 5-4.

Stellar on Defense

The Phillies’ defensive plays in this series were stellar. They avoided the Dodgers’ electric offensive talent they have this season. It seemed to amaze the Phillies fanbase, as their defensive effort kept extra runs from scoring. While they did blow their lead in game four, it is relieving to know that the defense did not contribute to the loss.

Red-hot offense

Bryce Harper, Jean Segura, Kyle Schwarber, and Rhys Hoskins were definitely the bullseye of the series, as they helped their team battle against one of the hottest teams in the West. Harper definitely has found his rhythm. The rest of the squad seemed to follow his lead by getting clutch hits and using their power. This was a great test for them, and they made the most of it with all of the offensive production that they made throughout the series.

The Phillies will head home to face the San Diego Padres.

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