Suárez, Eflin, Alvarado stifle Braves in Phillies 1-0 shutout victory
Ranger Suarez tossed 6 strong innings and the Phillies scored their lone run on a Matt Vierling RBI sacrifice fly in a 1-0 shutout win over the Braves.
Phillies (82-67) Beat Braves (93-57)
- Winning Pitcher: Ranger Suarez (10-5, 3.38)
- Losing Pitcher: Max Fried (13-7, 2.50)
- Save: Jose Alvarado (2, 3.40)
The Phillies through 149 games…
Tonight was an absolutely huge win for a team teetering on the edge. In one fell swoop, they exorcised their demons against a really good team in the Braves and managed to piece together consecutive wins despite some real struggles from the top of the lineup. At one point Bryce Harper, who is in the midst of an 0-10 slump, was using Matt Vierling’s bat in an attempt to steal some of his mojo.
It didn’t help that home plate umpire Andy Fletcher had a horrible night behind the dish. The entire game he was calling an extremely liberal strike zone for Braves pitcher Max Fried. The blown calls led to an altercation with Rhys Hoskins in the 3rd inning and eventually bubbled over in the 5th when Phillies hitting coach Kevin Long was tossed for arguing balls and strikes from the dugout.
Long had good reason to argue. The previous pitch to Dalton Guthrie was at least 6 inches below the strike zone and honestly not that far from the dirt.
Ranger Suarez turned in a huge start for a Phillies rotation that had been the teams weakness over the past few weeks. Ranger exit the game following the 6th inning having allowed no runs on only 5 hits. He struck out only 4 batters but saw the return of his trademark command.
Speaking of command, Zack Eflin was electric again tonight out of the bullpen. He needed only 7 pitches to finish off a scoreless inning of relief in the 7th inning and returned in the 8th to strike out two hitters before handing the ball off to Jose Alvarado.
Alvarado picked up the four-out save and lowered his ERA on the season to a solid 3.50. Alvarado who most fans had left for dead earlier in the season, has allowed only a single earned run since August 1st. No, I don’t trust him at all. But at the moment he is clearly the Phillies best option for high-leverage situations when David Robertson is unavailable.
With the win the Phillies maintained their 2.5 game lead over Milwaukee who defeated Cincinnati and moved to within a half game of San Diego after they lost in St Louis.
Alec Bohm makes a fantastic play at third base
Rhys Hoskins was not happy with that 3rd strike call by Andy Fletcher
Ranger Suarez escapes a jam to end the 4th inning and strands two runners on base.
Dalton Guthrie gets called out on strikes by home plate umpire Andy Fletcher. That ball was only 3 to 4 inches from hitting the dirt.
Andy Fletcher tossed Phils hitting coach Kevin Long for chirping about aforementioned terrible call from the dugout. Whats with this guy?!
Ranger Suarez pitches his way out of a bases-loaded jam in the 6th inning to keep it a one run game.
The Phils best new reliever Zach Eflin makes it through a clean 7th inning needing only 7 total pitches.
Jose Alvarado strikes out Vaughn Grissom to pick up the save and defeat the Braves.
PHILS WIN 1-0!!
Up Next for the Phillies
The Phillies host the Atlanta Braves on Friday night in the second game of a four game series at Citizens Bank Park.
Aaron Nola (9-12, 3.38) will toe the rubber facing off against Jake Odorizzi (5-5, 4.04) with the first pitch scheduled for 7:05 pm.
NBC Sports Philadelphia will carry the broadcast of the game.
Mandatory Photo Credit: Philadelphia Phillies