The Phillies looked dead on arrival on Sunday, as the Angels jumped out to an early 5-0 lead in the fourth inning. Kyle Gibson simply didn’t have it, as he surrendered five hits and a walk in the fourth, while only recording one out. However, Bryce Harper and Bryson Stott wouldn’t allow the Angels to run away with this one, as they both crushed long home runs en route to a 9-7 Phils victory.
This game was all Angels through the first seven innings, as they cruised to a 6-2 lead. Then, with two outs in the bottom of the eighth, Bryce Harper did what Bryce Harper does, and smashed a game-tying grand slam into the right field bleachers. It was very reminiscent of Harper’s all-time great walk-off moonshot against the Cubs in 2019. However, this one wasn’t quite the same, as the Phils still needed to win the game.
Interim Manager Rob Thomson brought in closer Corey Knebel in the top of the ninth, and Knebel let up a tough-luck go-ahead run. A sharply hit grounder from Matt Duffy slipped just under Rhys Hoskins’ glove to score Tyler Wade and put the Angels on top 7-6. Things were looking a bit grim, as it seemed the Phillies bullpen was destined to let another game slip through its fingers. However, Bryson Stott had something to say about that.
The bottom of the ninth started with J.T. Realmuto smashing a line drive right at Matt Duffy for out number one. Alec Bohm then singled into left field to put the tying run on base. Odúbel Herrera flied out to left to bring the Phillies down to their final out. The recently returned Didi Gregorius pinch hit for Johan Camargo, and laced an easy single into left field. Struggling infielder Bryson Stott strode to the plate with the game on the line, and boy did he deliver. Stott worked Angels’ reliever Jimmy Herget to a full count, adding to the sky-high tension of the moment. Then, as if it was scripted, Stott smoked a 75-mile-per-hour curveball into the right field seats to walk things off.
It was an incredible moment for not just Harper and Stott, bur for the entire team. They were down and out earlier this week, when their season record plummeted all the way down to 21-29. However, after firing much maligned Manager Joe Girardi, the Phillies seem to be a rejuvenated team after winning their four straight contests. This afternoon’s stunner completes a series sweep of a lifeless Angels squad that has now lost 11 straight games. The Phillies still have an uphill climb to make it into the playoffs, but with the way they’ve been playing lately, there certainly is a lot of hope.