After a hard loss Friday night against the Reds, the Phillies got a shutdown performance today from the most unlikely of places in starting pitcher Matt Moore. Moore (6.07 ERA) pitched six no-hit innings for the Phillies while striking out eight batters on the day.
Six No-Hit Innings
Matt Moore began the day on the mound with an abolutely electric first inning. Starting off the day with a 2-2 strikeout of Jonathan India, Moore threw ten pitches on the inning, finishing out the top of the first by striking out Nick Castellanos on an 83 MPH changeup.
In the top of the second inning, Moore faced his first bit of trouble on the day as he walked Joey Votto on five pitches. Tyler Stephenson then barreled a ball to Didi Gregorius‘s right side, destined to go through the gap into left field.
Until Didi dove, anyway.
Gregorius made a beautiful diving play, finishing the play by hurling the ball on his back to second base to record the out. Jean Segura then attempted to double-up Stephenson at first, though a review determined that he did in fact beat the throw. All was well, however, as Eugenio Suarez also grounded to Gregorius in the next at bat, who finished a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning.
Moore continued to dominate throughout the rest of his six innings, striking out eight batters while walking only two. With 76 pitches through six innings, Joe Girardi opted to go to the Bullpen, bringing in Hector Neris to pitch the seventh inning.
Bullpen Closes it Out
Hector Neris came in to face the Reds’ two, three, and four hitters in the top of the seventh. After finishing out a 3-1 putout to lead-off hitter Kyle Farmer, Neris went to work against both Nick Castellanos and Joey Votto, striking both batters out on his four-seam fastball. Neris pitched one of his most effective innings of the season, throwing nine pitches, eight for strikes.
Which didn’t last long.
After quickly getting behind in the count to Stephenson, Bradley gave Stephenson a 94-MPH fastball high and directly over the plate that he proceeded to hit out of the park. With the no-hitter and the shutout gone, Bradley continued his inning. While he allowed one additional hit on the inning, it was a little dribbler that Ronald Torreyes couldn’t barehand in time.
Offense Comes Through
Speaking of Ronald Torreyes, the small third baseman smacked a solo home run in the bottom of the third to give the Phillies the early lead. Torreyes went 3-for-4 on the day for the Phillies.
The Best Catcher in Baseball (also known as J.T. Realmuto) then batted in Odubel Herrera on a double in the bottom of the sixth, giving additional run support for Moore. Herrera, who led off the inning with a single, was bunted over to second by Moore before reaching third base on a flyout from Jean Segura.
After scoring an additional run in the bottom of the seventh, the Phillies held a 3-1 lead heading into the bottom of the eighth. Realmuto managed a leadoff walk against Sean Doolittle before future-MVP Bryce Harper stepped up to the plate. Hareper slapped a line drive into right field, barely making it pass right fielder Castellanos. Before center fielder Tyler Naquin could get the ball in, however, Harper made it to third on an RBI-stand-up triple.
But the play didn’t stop there. After an errant throw by shortstop Kyle Farmer, the ball was left in no man’s land as Harper easily took home plate, finishing off the Little League home run.
Before the end of the inning Andrew McCutchen put some icing on the Red(s) velvet cake with a solo home run into left center field.
Moore Good Outings to Come?
Matt Moore has not had a good season by any metric. Heading into Saturday’s game, he owned a 6.79 ERA on the season. After six no-hit innings? 6.07. It’s not every day a pitcher shaves 72 points off his ERA in one outing.
While Matt Moore will likely lose his spot in the Phillies’ rotation when Zach Eflin returns, the Phillies can only hope he can catch lightning in a bottle, whether it be starting or out of the bullpen. Moore will be needed in some capacity if the Phillies are to make a run in the postseason this year.
Regardless, the Phillies got exactly what the doctor ordered out of Moore after an off-day from ace Zack Wheeler on Friday night. Aaron Nola will be on the mound for the Phillies on Sunday as they look to close out the series against the Reds.
Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire