More than 19 hours after the game began on Saturday night, J.T. Realmuto took Yimi García deep to right-center for a walk-off two-run homer. His heroics temporarily bump the Phillies above .500 and the Marlins down to 40-52.
- Zach Thompson—4.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R (0 ER), 2 BB, 2 K, 23.3 CSW% (60 pitches)
- Vince Velasquez—5.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 4 K, 26.2 CSW% (84 pitches)
It had the potential to be a quick first inning for Zach Thompson. On his 10th pitch, he induced a ground ball off the bat of Bryce Harper which had the look of a fairly easy 6-4-3 double play. But Miguel Rojas couldn’t handle the larger-than-expected hop and everybody was safe. Andrew McCutchen proceeded to drive home Jean Segura on a sacrifice fly and Rhys Hoskins padded the Phillies lead with an RBI double.
Other than that, Thompson was—once again—very effective. Because of the error, both runs were unearned. His ERA went down to 1.93 and his WHIP remained at 1.00 through six major league starts. The right-hander’s rotation spot was extremely secure already, but even more so now following the news that Pablo López will miss an undetermined period of time with a rotator cuff strain.
Thompson was capable of continuing into the fifth inning, but Garrett Cooper was called upon to pinch hit for him against Vince Velasquez with two outs and the potential tying runs on base. Cooper scorched a ground ball to shortstop. It had more exit velocity than Harper’s, but also a more conventional hop, so it was handled cleanly to end the Marlins threat.
John Curtiss made his return from the injured list (neck stiffness) in relief of Thompson. Curtiss worked on both sides of a rain delay and committed the first error of his career on a pickoff attempt. However, he held the score at 2-0.
Anthony Bass, who has struggled against left-handed batters all season, surrendered a one-out single to Travis Jankowski in the bottom of the seventh. Worth mentioning, though: Bass threw a splitter to Jankowski during their matchup and got a swinging strike with it. The veteran right-hander has quietly reincorporated the offspeed offering into his pitch mix over the last two outings after neglecting it completely the previous three-plus months.
New Phillies closer Ranger Suarez might not retain that title too much longer after allowing the club’s 23rd blown save of the season (most in the majors). Starling Marte led off the ninth with a single and Jesús Aguilar tied the contest at 2-2 with a home run to left. Aguilar leads the National League with 68 runs batted in, including 39 on the road.
Over the last two calendar months—since May 19—Richard Bleier has been on the short list of best relievers in baseball. He has allowed only one run in those 18 1⁄3 innings (21 appearances), thanks in large part to his 73.5% ground ball rate.
Credit to Luke Williams for being able to line Bleier’s sinker to right field for what could’ve been an extra-base hit in the bottom of the ninth. However, recently recalled Monte Harrison was there to rob him and force extra innings.
Jon Berti saw only two pitches from José Alvarado in the top of the 10th—a ball and a called strike—before a second rain delay suspended the conclusion of the game until Sunday. Both players retook the field for the resumption. Alvarado struck out Berti looking on a pitch that appeared to be several inches inside, and he retired the next two batters in order as well to preserve the 2-2 score.
García got ahead in the count 0-2 against Realmuto and attempted to put him away with a high fastball (expecting either a whiff or a pop-up). But instead, the All-Star catcher deposited it 387 feet away for the game-winner.
- Vince Velasquez