Phillies beat Bucs 7-4 in triumphant return of Bryce Harper
Bryce Harper drove in two runs in his first at bat since returning from a two-month absence and the Phillies beat the Pirates 7-4 for their 5th consecutive victory.
Phillies (71-55) Beat Pirates (47-78)
- Winning Pitcher: Bailey Falter (2-3, 4.41)
- Losing Pitcher: Bryse Wilson (2-8, 6.01)
- Save: Brad Hand (5, 1.86)
If you haven’t heard by now, Bryce Harper made his triumphant return to the Phillies lineup tonight, much to the delight of the packed crowd at CBP. Harper came to the plate with the bases loaded in the 1st inning as the entire crowd rose to its feet in standing ovation.
I think the entire fan base knew something special was about to happen and Harper delivered On a 2-2 count he ripped a 2-RBI single on the ground past Pirates first basemen Michael Chavis to give the Phillies the lead with nobody out.
The addition of Harper to a lineup that has been consistently winning games and routinely beating up on the bottom feeders of the National League instantly takes the Phillies to another level. The juice his return brought to the dugout and the fan base tonight seemed to factor into the early output that saw 6 runs scored in the first 2 innings.
Bailey Falter had another quality start filling in for Zack Wheeler who recently was placed on the 15-day IL. In Falter’s past three starts he was pitched at least 6 innings while giving up an average of two earned runs.
The impact on a team now missing two of their five starters from Opening Day has been huge for both Falter and Cristopher Sanchez. Sanchez picked up the win against the Reds on Wednesday night and has impressed to a 3.94 ERA.
Four Phillies relievers took the ball and allowed only a single run. In an interesting move Brad Hand got the save opportunity from manager Rob Thompson instead of David Robertson. Robertson tossed a scoreless 8th inning and handed the ball of to Hand who also had an easy 9th inning.
Last season two of the main reasons the Phillies failed to make the playoffs were the depth of the starting rotation and the bullpen. This season even with injuries, guys have stepped up and completely reversed the narrative from 2021. Whether its Falter and Sanchez or Robertson and Hand, you have to give Dave Dombrowski a ton of credit for upgrading the depth of the roster.
Now having won 5 consecutive contests, the Phillies are 16 games over the .500 mark for the first time since 2011. Which also marks the last time this franchise made the playoffs. The win also puts a little more distance between the Phils and the San Diego Padres for the 2nd wild card spot in the NL. The Pads are still playing on Friday night, but as of right now sit 3 GB.
Bryce Harper hears the love the packed crowd at Citizens Bank Park as he approaches the plate for his first at bat since suffering a broken hand in June.
Bryce Harper drives in two runs with the bases loaded with an RBI single in the first inning. What a perfect return for the reigning NL MVP.
Rhys drives in Kyle Schwarber from second base to increase the Phils lead in the 2nd inning.
Pirates rookie Oneil Cruz hit the hardest ball of the season earlier in the week but he cant hold onto the bat this time as it flies into the stands.
Bryson Stott adds a much needed insurance run in the 8th inning with an RBI single.
Up Next for the Phillies
The Phillies take on the Pittsburgh Pirates in the second game of a three game series at Citizens Bank Park on Saturday night.
Kyle Gibson (8-5, 4.30) will toe the rubber facing off against Tyler Beede (1-3, 4.13) with the first pitch scheduled for 6:05 pm.
NBC Sports Philadelphia will carry the broadcast of the game.
Mandatory Photo Credit: Philadelphia Phillies