By: Matthew Mack
The Philadelphia Phillies went up to the Bronx to face the New York Yankees for a quick two game series.
In the first game, Rhys Hoskins started things off with a solo home run in the second inning. In the next inning, the Yankees got on the board with a groundout RBI to first by Estevan Florial to tie the game. Philly would not be deterred as Ronald Torreyes knocked in an RBI double to take the lead in the following inning. New York took advantage with an error caused by shortstop Didi Gregorious after he caught a line drive and attempted to double up Greg Allen at third only to throw it away, scoring Allen. Aaron Nola showed in this game the struggles that he is having this season with five runs surrendered in five and a third innings. With Brett Gardner, Gary Sanchez, and Giancarlo Stanton hit homers to take and extend the lead in the game. You blinked and next thing you know it was 5-2. The Phils did put up a fight when Jean Segura singled in a run in the eighth to close the gap. Florial responded in the bottom of the inning with a solo homer to get the run back for the Yankees. Aroldis Chapman came in the ninth to close the game. Andrew McCutchen had something to say as he launched a home run to pull the Phillies within two. After that, Chapman just let it go with his like a madman with fastballs reaching 103 mph to strike out the last two batters to win it for the Yankees 6-4.
The next day, the Phils did not waste any time. On the first pitch of the game, Segura launched a pitch that was right down the middle over the fence for the 1-0 lead. Bryce Harper laced an RBI double down the right field line, scoring Realmuto all the way from first without hesitation. Spencer Howard, who was called up due to Zach Eflin injury (10-day IL with right patella tendonitis), pitched three innings of scoreless ball. As soon as he left, in the 4th, Glyber Torres hit a solo home run to put the Bronx Bombers on the board. Two batters later, Greg Allen hit a double to right center. Center fielder Travis Jankowski slipped while fielding the ball while Brett Gardner rounded third to score and tie the game. The scoring continued as Stanton hit one out of the reach of the second baseman Segura to score Florial. The very next batter, Rougned Odor crushed a two-run bomb to left to open the lead up 5-2. Luke Williams with the bases loaded came in clutch in the 8th with a two run RBI single to pull within one. Two batters later, with the base loaded again, Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez had a pitch get away, scoring Ronald Torreyes and tying the game. The Phillies could not get more runs when the bases loaded again and Andrew McCutchen was the batter and popped up on the first pitch, knowing that he missed an opportunity to get more runs. As the game went into extra innings, it was the Yanks for the win when Ryan LaMarre slammed a long drive that right fielder Brad Miller did not even bother to catch knowing that the run would score regardless. The final was six-five in 10 innings.
To be honest, winning games in Yankee Stadium is not easy to do and the Phillies had every opportunity to win both games. Philly squandered an opportunity. They were three-for-21 with runners in scoring position once again reared it ugly head among the reasons why the Phils were shown the door. Another reason? Starting pitching. The Phillies need pitching help and it shows. Nola is struggling big time and not being the pitcher that the team needs to be and Eflin on the IL to add insult to injury. While they go back home to face the Atlanta Braves for four games, the concern is not too worrisome. However, with about half the team not vaccinated and players on the COVID-IL, they cannot afford to miss a beat. With the Phils being three and a half out of first, they can still do some damage. Just need to shake off what happened in The Bronx and move on. Two months to go and the room for error is getting smaller.