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11:28 PM / Thursday September 29, 2022

12 Aug 2020

Bullpen Blues

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August 12, 2020 Category: Sports Posted by:

The Phillies offense tried its best to bring the team back in Tuesday’s 10-9 loss to the Baltimore Orioles. But it didn’t have to be this way.

By Chris Murray

During his pregame press conference before Tuesday’s game against the Baltimore Orioles, Phillies manager Joe Girardi was talking about how disheartening it is for a bullpen to blow a lead late in the game and then lose it.

“When you blow leads late, the eighth and the ninth, the sixth and seventh, those are deflating,” Girardi said. “Those are harder to overcome. Those losses … That can be very deflating if it happens.”

In the Phillies to 10-9 loss to the Orioles in 10 innings at Citizens Bank Park, Girardi saw his bullpen struggle and his defense make some major mistakes in the field while spoiling a gallant performance by the offense in a losing cause.

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“We kept coming back and we weren’t able to close the deal,” Girardi said. “We had our chances. We made some mistakes that really cost us. I thought our guys did a great job offensively of battling back and battling back. Unfortunately, we were one hit short. It’s frustrating because I thought in a lot of was gave it away.

There were two major gaffes in the field that basically cost the Phillies this game. After the Phillies had rally to take a 6-5 lead in the bottom of the eighth on a two-run homer by Bryce Harper and a solo shot by shortstop Jean Segura, the Orioles tied it on an RBI single by designated hitter Renato Nunez off of Phillies close Hector Neris.

The Phillies should have gotten out of the inning with a tie, but Segura misplayed a high pop up hit by Orioles catcher Pedro Severino that fellow harmlessly to the ground between Segura and first baseman Rhys Hopkins who was called off by Segura. Two more runs scored and the Orioles had an 8-6 lead going into the bottom of the ninth.

“I think that’s the inexperience of Jean being at third and used to being a shortstop and taking charge. It hurt us tonight,” Girardi said.

But the Phillies refused to go away quietly in their half of the ninth inning. With two outs and the bases loaded, shortstop Didi Gregorius hit a bloop single to center that scored Hopkins and catcher JT. Realmuto to tie the game at 8-8.  Segura ended up striking out to end the inning.

“I thought we battled as an offense. It was incredible to just get out there and keep battling and to never give up,” Harper said. “Definitely a tough loss right there. That was a game we could have easily won.”

Under the new extra inning rules, a man is placed on second to start the inning.  Andrew Velasquez had made the out the last out in the Orioles half of the ninth inning. Orioles centerfielder Austin Hays got a whole lot more than he bargained for when he sent a line drive to centerfielder Roman Quinn who tried to make a spectacular diving catch instead of keeping the ball in front of him.

The ball got past Quinn and rolled to the center field fence enabling Hays to come away with a two-run inside the park home run to give Baltimore a 10-8 lead that would not relinquish.  The Phillies cut the lead to one on an RBI single that scored Segura, but they would come no closer.

“You love the hustle, you love the effort,” Girardi said. It’s something you never want to take away from (Quinn) because he plays a great centerfielder for us. He goes and gets the balls for us better than anyone on our team. But we have to be a little bit smarter. I had to learn that as well playing in right field. That’s a spot where the guy on second base keep the ball in front of you and hopefully keep the double play in order. If that were to happened, coulda, shoulda, woulda and we might have been tied going into the 11th.”

The Phillies and Orioles take the field at Citizens Bank Park tonight at 7:05pm to continue their three-game series.

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