New Phillies reliever made postseason history vs. Pat Neshek
By Matt Rappa
Phillies RHP Archie Bradley made postseason history at the plate in 2017.
The Philadelphia Phillies have plenty to like about their newest bullpen addition, six-year veteran right-hander Archie Bradley. But, the Oklahoma native’s arm is not the only thing he is known for throughout Major League Baseball. He has made postseason history for not what he did on the mound, but at the plate.
Back in 2017, Bradley was pitching in his third season with the Arizona Diamondbacks. He finished the regular season strong and was in the top-20 in Most Valuable Player Award voting, going 3-3 with a 1.73 ERA, 1.041 WHIP, and 79-21 strikeouts-to-walks ratio spanning 63 appearances, 13 games finished, and 73 innings.
To no surprise, the Diamondbacks called on him in the Wild Card game opposite the Colorado Rockies. Bradley was called into the game when there was two outs during the top of the seventh inning, with the home Diamondbacks ahead, 6-5. He got DJ LeMahieu to ground out on one pitch.
With just two innings left in the winner-take-all game, the Diamondbacks were not ready to take Bradley out just yet, even knowing he could get a plate appearance the following half-inning. Facing All-Star right-hander Pat Neshek, who the Phillies traded to the Rockies a few months prior for three minor-leaguers, including J.D. Hammer, the D-backs offense ultimately got runners on first and second with two outs. Still, they left Bradley in to hit — and he did not disappoint.
Working a 2-2 count, Bradley hit a line-drive triple opposite Neshek to center field, scoring both runners on base to give Arizona an 8-5 lead. According to MLB’s Sarah Langs, he is the only pitcher in postseason history to hit a triple in a game he did not start.
The Diamondbacks would go on to win 11-8, and they needed every one of the two RBI that Bradley delivered at the plate.
The Rockies rallied back against him the next half-inning, with Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story hitting back-to-back solo home runs to make the score 8-7 in favor of Arizona. Bradley got out of trouble in the frame by getting catcher Jonathan Lucroy, who the Phillies signed to a minor-league deal in 2020, to line out.
Bradley did not have a postseason plate appearance in the NLDS against the Dodgers, although he did throw 4 2/3 innings allowing three hits, one unearned run, and three walks while striking out five of his 21 batters faced.
Neshek is not the most popular Phillies reliever ever, so there is no surprise that those on social media were quick to appreciate both the Bradley signing overall, as well as this postseason plate appearance.