Phillies beat Dodgers in 16-inning game lasting nearly six hours

Phillies beat Dodgers in 16-inning game lasting nearly six hours

Alex Verdugo, the Dodgers right fielder, waved his glove in the air and the Phillies players stormed from the dugout. Finally, a 7-4 win over the Dodgers was over.

It took 16 innings, but Trevor Plouffe’s walk-off homer off position player Enrique Hernandez ended the Phillies’ 100th game of the season. Verdugo had no chance and the Phillies waited to mob Plouffe. The game ended less than 12 hours before the start of Game No. 101, which the Phillies will begin with a one-game lead atop the National League East.

Jorge Alfaro tied the game in the seventh with a mammoth two-out, two-run homer that crashed into visiting bullpen. The 446-foot shot was Alfaro’s second homer since June 15 and could not have come at a better time. The Phillies – for the second-straight night – had rallied back against the heavyweights of the National League. But this time, they finished the job.

Phillies manager Gabe Kapler praised his team on Monday for showing grit and fight when they clawed back against the Dodgers. But those words felt a bit shallow after a ninth-inning collapse. A night later, the manager’s words were given some credence.

The Phillies used 22 players, emptied their bench, used Zach Eflin as a pinch hitter in the 13th inning. Vince Velasquez, who is scheduled to start Saturday in Cincinnati, entered in the 16th inning. The game took 5 hours, 55 minutes. The first-pitch was delayed by rain and the 10th inning was stopped when home-plate umpire Tom Hallion had to leave the game after being hit in the facemask by a foul ball. Finally, it was over.

The Phillies fell behind by three runs and had just one hit through the first four innings. This looked like a listless loss. But then the Phillies rallied. Nick Williams homered in the fifth and Maikel Franco delivered an RBI double in the seventh. Alfaro tied the game three batters later.

Aaron Nola lasted just five innings as he allowed three runs on five hits. He struck out five and walked two. Nola did not have his best stuff, but he was also plagued by some questionable defense. Rhys Hoskins failed to track down a double that bounced off the left-field wall in the fifth and Jesmuel Valentin and Odubel Herrera misplayed a pop-up that would’ve ended the first inning.

Chase Utley did not start for the Dodgers but entered as a pinch-hitter with one out in the 12th against Luis Garcia. He was greeted with a standing ovation just as he was on Monday. But Utley did not acknowledge it. This at-bat, it seemed, was about business. Utley laced a single to left field to put the go-ahead run on first and the fans roared. They cheered again when Garcia escaped the inning and stranded Utley.

The bullpen was exceptional. Adam Morgan, who relieved Nola, allowed a leadoff homer in the sixth but then retired the next three batters he faced. The Phillies used eight relievers – Morgan, Drew Anderson, Victor Arano, Tommy Hunter, Pat Neshek, Luis Garcia, Austin Davis, and Vince Velasquez – to piece together 33 outs without yielding a run. The bullpen stepped up on the night that Zach Britton – the best reliever on the trade market – was shipped by the Orioles to the Yankees.

Davis threw 35 pitches over two innings as he pitched for the third-straight day. It was a gutsy performance. He was relieved by Velasquez, who had thrown seven innings in his start just two days earlier. Velasquez was gutsy, too. He ended the 16th with a strikeout of Logan Forsythe and pumped his fist as he returned to the dugout. He kept the Phillies alive. And soon it would be over, at last.

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Published at Wed, 25 Jul 2018 05:26:00 +0000

Categories: Phillies

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