The Phillies won a slobber-knocker of a matchup on Thursday, somehow finding a way past Tyler Anderson in a stunning 9-7 win. Maybe they were trying to balance the Sixers’ dismal effort against Miami. Either way, they’ll be hoping to double down tonight.
Game 1 recap
The good news is that despite having a partially torn UCL, Bryce Harper can still hit dingers. He put the Phils on the board in the first inning almost a signal of intent.
The rest of the team clearly got the memo. Kyle Schwarber and Jean Segura added to the damage before John Camargo made it a 4-0 ballgame. Zack Wheeler was having an easy day at the office through the opening few innings, but as always, danger lurked around the corner.
The Dodgers scored a double in the sixth, prompting Wheelsday to come to an end, but it was only after Wheeler left that the wheels then fell off.
A 7-3 lead into the eighth inning should have been more than safe, but as we know, there’s no such thing as a safe lead when it comes to the Phillies.
Jose Alvarado stepped into the mix and immediately started to wobble. The bases were loaded on a bunch of singles, and three runs eventually made their way home. Not great. The game was tied 7-7 going into the ninth.
Bryce Harper, of all people, was able to get the Phillies some extra leg-room in the final inning. The bases were loaded and set for an emphatic finish, but a wayward pitch helped insure the lead regardless. You take what you can get.
The Phils avoided a late collapse, but only just. They can’t rely on that kind of fortune against Clayton Kershaw.
Game two pitching matchup
Kyle Gibson (3-1, 2.94 ERA) vs Clayton Kershaw (4-0, 1.80 ERA)
The Phillies added Gibson at the trade deadline last season and it was one of Dombrowski’s best decisions. Kyle Gibson has been the Phillies’ best starter through the first part of the season, although this matchup is going to test his mettle. If Wheeler struggled against an offense so potent, then Gibson may have his work cut out too.
Meanwhile, Clayton Kershaw has returned to the Cy Young caliber we all know and fear after a couple of wobbly seasons. The future Hall of Famer has a 1.80 earned run average this season he’s bound to make the Phils work for any bases and runs earned.
The Phillies come into this matchup as +200 underdogs which should come as no surprise. The run-total remains at 8, and after yesterday’s decision to go under backfired due to a late collapse from Alvarado, it’s time to double down. Gibson may be the best pitcher that the Phils have to offer and Kershaw may be the best in the entire league. This has all the makings of a low-scoring grinder.
Photo Credit: AP Photo/Kyusung Gong