The Philadelphia Phillies had a rollercoaster series in their first 2021 regular season games away from Citizens Bank Park. The Atlanta Braves sought revenge after being swept in the opening series, and tension was surely in the air.
The Phillies may have dropped the series, 2-1, but it was full of emotion. Fans saw Bryce Harper send one out of the park for the time this year, as well as a Sunday night series-ending “battle of the bats.”
It was a call by an umpire that put the finale on everyone’s radar. Phillies third baseman Alec Bohm’s controversial slide to an exciting victory was the shocking call to end this thrilling night of baseball.
Phillies 3B Alec Bohm was the focus of a controversial win against the Braves.
Spectators knew this game meant a lot to those involved, because it seemed as though a rivalry between the two clubs was growing as each game went on.
Unfortunately, No. 4 Phillies starter Matt Moore‘s command did not show up on Sunday. He instantly fed Ozzie Albies a mouthwatering ball that resulted in a two-run home run into the centerfield stands. Later, Dansby Swanson added a third run with an RBI single, scoring Travis d’Arnaud.
Nonetheless, the Phillies luck turned at the top of the second. J.T. Realmuto nailed a ground ball to left for a double and later scored on a Jean Segura sacrifice fly. After, the Phillies got hot at the plate even more. Rhys Hoskins hit a solo home run off former Phillies left-hander Drew Smyly to bring the team within reach of tying in the top of the fourth inning. Didi Gregorius had other plans when it was his turn to meet Smyly. With Bohm and Segura on, he slugged a clutch, three-run home run that puts the Phillies in front, 5-3.
The Braves refused to go away In the middle innings and ended up tying the game behind a Ronald Acuna Jr. sacrifice fly and Freddie Freeman home run. With that being said, the Phillies did not throw in the towel. Harper launched his second home run in as many games to put the Phillies back on top, 6-5. Acuna answered with a homer off Sam Coonrod in the bottom of the seventh, tying the game once again.
In the end — after five lead changes — this game was without a doubt a “slugfest.” The Phillies had one more shot at the win in the ninth, before things would have turned even more nerve-wracking with the runner on second rule in the extras. Bohm began the frame with a clutch double. Segura advanced him to third with a ground out. Later, Gregorius stepped up to the plate to face reliever Will Smith with one out.
The 10-year veteran hit a ball that carried into left field and met the glove of Marcell Ozuna. Bohm tagged from third to run to home for the lead, slid on his right leg, and stretched out his left cleat to score what was the game-winning run.
The Braves and fans in attendance strongly disagreed that Bohm ever touched home plate with his cleat before the tag. However, the umpire at the plate did, as well as the instant replay confirmation. The replay did not show enough for the call to be overturned, and the Phillies got the call in their favor.
A wild end to an exhilarating night, with Bohm growing as being among Phillies fans favorites, and, perhaps, a new player to dislike for Braves fans.