Here at Philly Sports Network we like to give you fun topics of conversation to have around the water cooler. For example, Can you name the top 5 songs on Billboards Hot 100 chart in the week of July 17, 1999?
No? Well here they are.
- “Bills, Bills, Bills”-Destiny’s Child
- “If You Had My Love”-Jennifer Lopez
- “Last Kiss”-Pearl Jam
- “Genie in a Bottle”-Christina Aguilera
- “Livin’ La Vida Loca”-Ricky Martin
What does any of this have to do with baseball? The last time the Phillies won a series in Fenway Park was July 17, 1999, 20 years ago. Now that you have a few things to talk about at work, here’s what happened in Boston this week.
Game 1: Quick Start, Slow Finish
The Phillies could have gotten off to a better start in Fenway.
Rhys Hoskins walks. Bryce Harper doubles. Jean Segura doubles in 2 runs. Segura gets to 3rd and Scott Kingery Singles him home.
The Phillies gave themselves a 3-run lead for ace Aaron Nola. Outside of a brilliant start, the 3rd inning held some trouble for Nola. A leadoff single turned into a 2-run home run for Jackie Bradley Jr. Those would be 2 out of the only 4 hits Nola allowed against the pesky Red Sox offense.
Aaron Nola finished after 7 innings, striking out 7 and walking only 1.
Believe it or not, the bullpen was one of the highlights of this series. Jose Alvarez, Mike Morin, and Hector Neris combined for 2 shutout innings, allowing only 2 hits.
One of those was a leadoff double by Xander Bogaerts in the 9th inning. A possible worrisome inning by Hector Neris turned into success thanks to poor base-running by the Sox. He would throw just 8 pitches to earn his 22nd save.
Phillies win 3-2.
Game 2: Don’t Call it a Comeback
The Red Sox jumped to an early lead in this one. Back to back doubles gave the Sox a 1-0 lead to start the game. It could have been worse as the Red Sox had 1st and 3rd with 1 out and couldn’t capitalize.
A similar story unfolded in the 2nd inning. Jackie Bradley Jr. homered, but during his at-bat JT Realmuto nabbed Marco Hernandez trying to steal 2nd.
In the 4th inning, the Red Sox had a huge opportunity AGAIN. They loaded the bases with 1 out. Drew Smyly struck out JBJ and Jared Hughes came in relief and got Mookie Betts to ground out to end the inning.
The 5th inning brought new life for the Phillies. Cesar Hernandez hit a leadoff double and came around to score on a wild pitch and error. Adam Haseley walked and Big Bat Boy Bryce Harper slammed a dinger into the Green Monster seats. The Phillies had taken the lead.
Harper might have had the big moment, but the star of this show was the bullpen. Jared Hughes, Ranger Suarez, Mike Morin, Jose Alvarez, and Hector Neris combined for 5.1 scoreless IP, allowing just 3 hits and a walk while striking out 6.
The Phillies would add 2 more runs, both off the bat of Corey Dickerson. An RBI triple in the 7th and an RBI single in the 9th made everything comfortable for Hector Neris to get his 23rd save.
Phillies win 5-0.
Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports
Alec Kostival graduated from La Salle University with a degree in communication with a focus in mass media and journalism. He covered high school sports for the Chestnut Hill Local. He has interned with the Reading Fightin Phils and the Philadelphia Eagles.