That old familiar feeling is back as we watched the Phillies squander a chance to sweep the Los Angeles Dodgers. After getting red-hot during this West Coast road trip, the Phils let a sweep slip away at the very last minute.
Dodgers’ second baseman Gavin Lux staked the Phils to an early lead in the second inning when he botched a Bryson Stott grounder. The Phillies pounced on the opportunity, with Jean Segura scoring on that play, Garrett Stubbs hitting an RBI double next, and then Rhys Hoskins driving in two with a single. While that was an excellent start to the game, things slowly started to trickle away after that. The offense went completely silent, while Aaron Nola turned in a solid two-run, seven inning performance. Jeurys Familia allowed Mookie Betts to make it a one-run game with an eighth inning double.
Then came the ninth inning. Corey Knebel quickly set down the first two batters, but ran into trouble with Cody Bellinger. After getting Bellinger into a 1-2 count, Knebel surrendered a triple, putting the tying run on third base. Knebel then walked Chris Taylor to put the winning run on base. Gavin Lux, a pariah up to this point, ripped a double into right field to score both Bellinger and Taylor, and allow the Dodgers to salvage the series finale. There were a few tough calls against Knebel that could have changed the outcome of the game. But, that’s just no excuse. Phillies relievers have been treading on thin ice lately with the amount of walks they’ve issued, and today it came back to haunt them.
This afternoon’s loss was a heartbreaker, but let’s not let it ruin an excellent week of Phillies baseball. An offense that had been sputtering to begin the year finally got things to click. The starting pitching was decent for the most part. Guys like Rhys Hoskins and Jean Segura who had struggled to find their footing broke out in a big way this week. Yes, the Phillies did squander, as the Mets’ loss to the Mariners would have allowed the Phils to gain another game. The bullpen needs some help, and I’m hoping David Dombrowski can get it. But, regardless of today’s outcome, the Phillies had a tremendous week, and it’s the first time we can say that this year.
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