Phillies bullpen gets job done thanks to thrilling final out
By Matt Rappa
The Phillies bullpen came through to salvage the series against the Braves
It took some help from a tremendous fielding play to end the game, but the Philadelphia Phillies bullpen came through for the team in Sunday evening’s nationally televised series finale against the Atlanta Braves at Truist Park.
Phillies starting pitcher Zach Eflin exited the bottom of the sixth inning with one out and two runners in scoring position. Up to that point, he had allowed six hits, three runs, and three walks, while striking out six of his 25 batters faced.
One-third of Eflin’s hits allowed were a RBI single to Marcell Ozuna and a two-RBI double to Freddie Freeman. Luckily, Eflin benefited from five runs of support from his team’s offense, Alec Bohm‘s first career home run, a two-run Rhys Hoskins home run, a solo Didi Gregorius home run, and an Andrew McCutchen RBI single.
The Phillies needed to rely on their bullpen to record the final 11 outs. Newly acquired bullpen relievers Heath Hembree and Brandon Workman — as well as Tommy Hunter — came through. The 11th and final out resulted in thrilling fashion.
Hembree relieved Eflin for his Phillies debut and stranded both of his two inherited runners, striking out Johan Camargo and getting former Phillies Rule 5 pick Ender Inciarte to ground out to first base. The former Red Sox right-hander remained in the game in the seventh, punching out Dansby Swanson and getting Freeman to ground out to short.
Former Phils catching prospect dealt as part of the trade for Roy Halladay, Travis d’Arnaud, then singled, but was caught out at first trying to return to the bag after Hoskins threw a dropped Bryce Harper bloop single to Hembree covering first base.
Hunter tossed a 1-2-3 eighth, striking out two of his three batters faced.
Then came the thrilling ninth-inning finish. After a disappointing team debut on Saturday, Workman was successful in recording his first save in a Phillies uniform in the series finale, albeit while allowing an earned run.
Workman surrendered a single, walk and double in the frame, the last of which was a two-out Freeman RBI base-knock. Swanson, on the same play, however, attempted to score and tie the game at 5. He was unsuccessful thanks to a perfect Phillies relay fielding play. Roman Quinn in the outfield threw to Didi Gregorius at short, before throwing to Andrew Knapp at home to tag the Swanson out.
The play was reviewed and stood as called. The Phillies avoided the sweep, all the while earning their 10th win of the shortened 2020 season.