Phillies Vince Velasquez records outfield assist, diving catch
You won’t believe what Phillies left fielder Vince Velasquez did Saturday morning!
The Phillies and White Sox went deep into the night, technically into Saturday morning, with an extra-inning classic.
With Zach Eflin on second base with two outs in the 13th Gabe Kapler swapped out Eflin for a much more athletic Vince Velasquez. Unfortunately, Velasquez didn’t get an opportunity to run and was put into the field
Roman Quinn would move onto the mound and Velasquez to left field with no one else able to pitch out of the bullpen. With one out in the 14th, Velasquez uncorked an unbelievable throw to home that kept the game alive.
According to Statcast Velasquez threw the ball 94 mph. It was a perfect throw complete with a bounce right into J.T. Realmuto’s glove.
Velasquez almost repeated the throw one inning later but was a hair behind, allowing the White Sox to score in the 15th inning.
Later in the inning, Velasquez would keep the game at one with a diving catch to end the inning.
Statcast gave Velasquez a 15 percent chance of catching that ball.
Adam Haseley also made a diving catch in the 11th inning.
Philadelphia would lose 4-3 in the 15th despite the remarkable effort from Velasquez in the field and Quinn on the mound, throwing two innings with three walks, three hits, and the earned run.
It was Quinn’s second pitching appearance this season and the third in his young career.
There was a lot of instant criticism of Gabe Kapler for pulling Eflin off the field with two outs and no one ready to pitch. Ranger Suarez had pitched the night before and tried to warm up. Eflin had gone two solid innings of relief prior to being pulled.
Friday night/Saturday morning’s game had shades of when Wilson Valdez pitched in extra innings or when Roy Oswalt played left field after Ryan Howard was ejected for arguing with an umpire.
Despite the loss, with some of the blame going on an inconsistent strike zone, it was an instant classic with highlight-reel plays we’ll see for years on end.