Game Recap: Phillies Bitten Again in NLCS Rematch

Bryce harper
Philadelphia Phillies’ Bryce Harper reacts after hitting a two-run home run off St. Louis Cardinals’ John King during the seventh inning of a baseball game, Saturday, June 1, 2024, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Derik Hamilton)

It was a night of celebration at Citizens Bank Park.

The Phillies welcomed home one of their own in Cole Hamels and honored him with a pregame ceremony. Former players and coaches were in attendance for both the ceremony and the ballgame.

On the field, the Phillies welcomed back the Arizona Diamondbacks, the club that stole the National League pennant from them in 2023. According to Rob Thomson pre-game, it was just another ballgame.

Cole Hamels Retirement

The Phillies organization certainly knows how to throw a party. Their celebration for Cole Hamels had the fans both emotional and excited to honor the former pitcher. A giveaway of the 2009 NL Pennant ring for fans 15 and older was a nice touch as well.

In a sold-out ballpark of 44,436 attendees, fans stood on their feet for the man who will forever wear the badge of honor known as the 2008 World Series MVP. MVP chants erupted for Cole as the Phillies gifted him with incredible items, including the pitching rubber from Wrigley Field the day he threw a no-hitter.

Surrounded by his former teammates, coaches, family, and friends, Cole Hamels delivered his final pitch in a Phillies uniform. Hamels had Carlos Ruiz step in behind home plate one more time as he threw out the ceremonial first pitch.

Phillies Taijaun Walker
Philadelphia Phillies’ Taijuan Walker pitches during the first inning of a baseball game against the San Francisco Giants, Sunday, May 5, 2024, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Taijuan Walker

Taijuan Walker had some shoes to fill tonight with Cole Hamels in the building.

Walker (3-3, 5.33 ERA) was entering this game after a couple of solid starts in a row. He would be facing a Diamondbacks lineup that has struggled for most of the 2024 season. Taijuan is a former Diamondback himself, playing with the organization from 2017 to 2019.

He would get through the first inning unscathed but not the second. Lourdes Gurriel Jr would hit his 10th home run of the season, putting Arizona ahead 1-0.

In the top of the third, the D-Backs would tee off. A 2-run homerun by Gabriel Moreno would give the Diamondbacks a 3-0 lead. The next batter, Joc Pederson, would follow it up with a home run of his own. This made it 4-0 Arizona.

Following the back-to-back homers, Christian Walker would sneak in a double down the first baseline. Taijuan would limit the damage to four runs after three innings but the Phillies’ faithful was not pleased.

Philadelphia Phillies’ Trea Turner, right, scores on the pass ball as San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Jordan Hicks, left, tries to make the tag during the fourth inning of a baseball game, Friday, May 3, 2024, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)

Phillies Fight Back

Heading into tonight’s game, Jordan Montgomery (5-4, 6.00 ERA) had been struggling mightily in 2024. Getting a late start to the season due to his free agency, Jordan had not been able to get the appropriate reps needed before starting a major league game. The Phillies did not seem to get the memo in the first couple innings.

With two outs in the third, Kyle Schwarber would get a single to keep the inning alive. Trea Turner would thank Schwarber, as he then put a ball in the left field seats. This was Trea’s first homerun since returning from the Injured List and it came at the right time. His third of the season brought the Phillies back, making it a 4-2 Arizona lead.

Turnbull’s Turn

After four innings for Taijuan Walker, Spencer Turnbull would enter the game for the Phillies.

Despite finding himself in some tough situations, the veteran right-hander was able to battle through. At one point he would hit two batters, leading to the bases being loaded. Facing a tough out in Corbin Carroll, Spencer Turnbull would get him to roll over on a ball to second base.

For his efforts, Turnbull would finish the game with 3 innings pitched, 2 hits allowed, 1 walk, and 2 strikeouts.

Adding Another

In the bottom of the seventh inning, the Phillies would tack on another run.

A one-out walk by David Dahl, then Rafael Marchan, and then Kyle Schwarber would load the bases. Trea Turner would rip a ball to the second baseman Blaze Alexander, who knocked the ball down. He would not throw out Turner at first, allowing a run to score and it did not result in an out.

Bryce Harper would step to the dish with the bases loaded and one out. The tying run was at third and the lead run was at second. Harper would hit the ball right back up the middle. Unfortunately for the Phillies, it was snagged by reliever Joe Mantiply, who calmly threw home and then to first for the double play.

Seranthony Dominguez would enter the game in the top of the 8th. He would get the first two batters to retire rather quickly, before allowing a single to Blaze Alexander. Alexander would steal second and then scope on an RBI single by Geralod Perdomo. This would make it 5-3 Arizona.

Last Chance

The Phillies were going to have to go down swinging if the Diamondbacks were to win Friday’s ballgame.

In the bottom of the eighth, the Phillies trailed by 2 runs. Nick Castellanos would say no so fast, as he added another run. His 10th home run of the season came at the right time and Castellanos delivered when needed.

In the top of the ninth, Matt Strahm would be tasked with keeping the score at a one-run deficit. He would do the job, tossing another scoreless 1.1 innings.

Up stepped the Phillies in the bottom of the 9th inning. Did they have a little magic left in their bats?

Bottom of the 9th

David Dahl would lead things off the Phillies in the bottom of the 9th inning. Recently Dahl changed his number from 35 to 31 out of respect for Cole Hamels. On Cole Hamels’ retirement night, Dahl would drive a ball to deep right field. It would hang up just a little too long and it was tracked down for the first out.

Rafael Marchan would be the second batter of the frame. He would flick a ball out to left field that would ultimately be tracked down for the out.

Down to their last out, up stepped Kyle Schwarber. Schwarber would fight a couple of pitches off, sitting in an 0-2 count. The Phillies designated hitter would ground out to first base to end the ballgame.

Photo Credit: (AP Photo/Derik Hamilton)