By: Matthew Mack
After beating the Atlanta Braves in three games at Citizens Bank Park. The Philadelphia Phillies took on the New York Yankees for a two-game weekend series. Philadelphia came into the series only four games behind the first place, New York Mets.
In the Saturday game, the Phillies exploded in the first inning with four runs, putting Yankee starter Jameson Taillon on the bench. The Yanks did fight back by scoring two runs in the following inning thanks to a Gary Sanchez homer and a Brett Gardner RBI triple. Philadelphia extended their lead to seven-two with help from Jean Segura’s RBI single in the fourth and Alec Bohm’s RBI single and Ronald Torreyes’ RBI double in the 5th. You would think that a lead like that would be safe, right? Well, not with this bullpen because it is either good or bad. However, Joe Girardi put faith in his bullpen and it started to crumble. In the Ninth, when the lead was down to three. Héctor Neris struggled as he tried to save it for the Phils.Then he blew it! D.J. LeMahieu slammed a three-run blast to tie the game, his fourth of the season tying the game at seven.
In the extra frame, Jean Segura was the hero again in the 10th when he hit it to the 3rd baseman Gio Urshela with the infield in. Torreyes, who was at third at the time of the play and the winning run, ran the moment contact was made. Urshela threw home to get the out there only to pull the catcher off, scoring the run and winning the game for Philly eight-seven.
Today, Aaron Nola got the start. He had struggled in the last few starts which has increased his ERA to over four (4.06). In this game, he got his groove back in seven and two/thirds innings of work, he had nine strikeouts while giving up three hits, and allowing no runs. Philadelphia’s offense continued to roll. The Phillies scored early in the game, giving the run support that Nola needed to work his magic on the mound. The bullpen did their job by closing the door and shutting out and sweeping the Yankees 7-0. Their first sweep in a series since 1997 when the Phils were in the vet and Joe Girardi himself was part of that Yankee roster.
This series was entertaining without a doubt. The offense is really clicking on all cylinders and starting pitching has been solid. While consistency with the entire team is still elusive. They are managing to get wins in spite of it. They go back on the road tomorrow when they face off against the World Series Champion Los Angeles Dodgers for three at Dodgers Stadium. The game that is a must see match-up is game three of the series. When Zack Wheeler and Clayton Kershaw lock horns on the bump. This team is starting to really put things together. With a tough road trip ahead. They must continue to keep this up. It is mid-June and the Phils are right where they need to be based on how the season has played out. The name of the game is consistency. As of now, enjoy this moment beating baseball’s Evil Empire.