Braves Edge Phillies in Rare Pitchers Duel


6. 2. 17. Final. 1

The host Atlanta Braves edged the Phillies by a 2-1 score last night at Turner Field in something that was once a common occurrence between these two teams, but has become exceedingly rare these days, a true pitcher’s duel.

The Braves 24-year old Julio Teheran and the Phillies rookie 25-year old Adam Morgan were the somewhat unlikely duo matching pitches last night. Only a couple of mistakes by Morgan, one early and one late, proved the difference in the end.

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Each of the young starters went 7 full innings. Teheran allowed 7 hits and walked 3 batters, but scattered them and allowed just a single unearned run. He threw 110 pitches on the night, 71 of them for strikes.

On the Phillies mound, Morgan was even better most of the night, allowing just 5 hits, with 5 strikeouts and 2 walks. He threw 98 pitches, 59 of those for strikes. But again, two of the hits that he allowed were big ones, and coupled with the Phillies inability to score, would ultimately cost the game.

The first of those big blows came in the bottom of the 2nd when Jonny Gomes launched his 4th homerun of the season on a line drive to left center. That came after Morgan had struck out with the bases loaded and two outs in the top of the inning.

In the 5th, Morgan was again involved on the offensive side, this time in a positive way. He led off by reaching on a throwing error by Braves 2nd baseman Jace Peterson, a play that was initially ruled a hit. It would have been the first of Morgan’s big league career, and the ball was tossed into the dugout for just that occasion. However, the official scorer later correctly changed the call to the error.

Odubel Herrera laid down a sacrifice bunt, moving Morgan to 2nd, and the pitcher then scored on a base hit to right by the hot Cesar Hernandez, tying the game at 1-1. Hernandez committed a TOOTBLAN on the play, getting himself thrown out at 2nd base when he had no business trying for a double, and that hurt when Maikel Franco immediately followed with a double.

Into the bottom of the 7th battled the two young starting pitchers, when Morgan was once again bitten by the long ball. Juan Uribe, who famously homered to beat the Phils in the 2010 NLCS while with the Giants, led off by drilling his 7th homerun of the season to left center.

That marks the 3rd consecutive season in which Uribe has blasted a homer against the Phillies, and this one would prove again to be a game-winner. Luis Avilan shut the Phils down in the 8th, and then Jim Johnson registered his 5th Save of the season despite giving up 2 hits in the 9th, escaping largely thanks to a doubleplay ball.

The loss was the 5th straight for the Phillies, their 8th in the last 9 games. It also dropped their 2015 road record to 9-30, a horrendous .231 winning percentage. Their overall record of 27-55 is the worst in baseball by 7 full games now, and that only figures to get worse with 9 games remaining on this road trip leading up to the MLB All-Star break.