The Phillies’ six-game homestand against the Padres and Dodgers did not go well overall, but they ended it by paying the Dodgers back for what happened last Sunday in a wild 4-3, walk-off win in extra innings.
The Phils last Sunday were an out away from shockingly sweeping a four-game series in Los Angeles when the Dodgers, with the bases empty, rallied to win the game.
On this Sunday at Citizens Bank Park, the Phillies found themselves down a run with two outs and nobody aboard in the ninth inning when Nick Castellanos doubled and Jean Segura singled to tie the game.
And after the Dodgers took a one-run lead in the 10th inning, the Phillies came back again with two outs when Alec Bohm grounded a ball softly to second base that Max Muncy couldn’t glove. The error allowed Roman Quinn to come all the way around from second base to score the walk-off run.
“He’s the only guy on our team that scores, probably one of the few in the league that scores,” manager Joe Girardi said of the game-winning play. “One of the reasons we called Roman up was for his baserunning ability, just because it (makes) a difference.”
Quinn came on in the ninth inning after the Phillies had pinch-hit for Odubel Herrera in the eighth. His first plate appearance came in the 10th and he singled the opposite way with two outs. Backup catcher Garrett Stubbs, who like JT Realmuto has well-above-average speed for his position, scooted from first to third on the play and was nearly thrown out by Mookie Betts, who killed the Phillies this weekend with his bat, glove, arm and legs. Quinn advanced to second on the throw, which set up Bohm’s at-bat.
“It’s just one of those in-the-moment things where I’m looking at (third base coach Dusty Wathan), trusting in him, looking at the ball and I see him out of the corner of my eye, Quinn said.” It’s just one of those split-second decisions.
“It felt great, man, to come up big for my guys there.”
Quinn wasn’t the only reserve to come through Sunday. Stubbs continues to produce when called upon. This was his eighth start behind the plate and he’s hit in seven of them. On Sunday, he hit his first career home run, walked, bunted a runner into scoring position, singled in extra innings, scored the game-tying run and threw out a runner at third on a bunt.
In eight starts, Stubbs is 10 for 24 (.417) with two doubles, a triple and a homer.
“He’s a ballplayer,” Girardi said. “He understands his role and what he needs to do and has done a really good job of staying ready. There’s times he needs to bunt and he’s able to do that. There’s times he needs to swing the bat and he’s able to do that. He does a really good job with our pitchers. He has played extremely well. “
Rhys Hoskins referred to Stubbs, his first-year teammate, as “more prepared than anyone that I’ve ever been around in that position for someone who doesn’t play a whole lot.”
“He’s been outstanding back there,” Hoskins said. “He’s obviously learning from one of the best in the game. … I think it’s a testament to how he prepares himself at the dish as well, he’s been locked in all season.”
Hoskins had a frustrating afternoon. In his second at-bat, he crushed a 103 mph line drive to deep left-center and was robbed by Cody Bellinger. In his third at-bat, home plate umpire Dan Merzel missed a pitch well outside the zone and called it a strike to put Hoskins behind in the count. In his final at-bat, Hoskins grounded into a double play with runners on the corners in the eighth inning and the Phillies down a run.
After the inning, Hoskins took his frustrations out on a garbage bin in the home dugout.
“That’s all right, trash cans can be repaired or we can get new ones,” Girardi said.
For Hoskins, that moment was a culmination of his prior three at-bats and the Phillies’ inability to score for most of their 2-4 homestands. They scored a total of 12 runs in six games.
“We needed a big hit, really from anyone,” Hoskins said. “We got a couple of big hits, made a weird baseball play happen and those are the types of things I think that can get a team going.”
Now would be the perfect time. The 19-22 Phillies head to Atlanta to begin a seven-game NL East road trip against the Braves and Mets. From there, they get the Giants, Angels and Brewers, three more teams with near-.600 winning percentages.
Suffice it to say, getting out of town Sunday with a win was important and made the trip to Atlanta more palatable than it would’ve been after a 1-5 week at home.
“It’s a fantastic win,” Girardi said. “You think about the seven games we played with the Dodgers, we fought them tooth and nail for seven straight games, basically.
“We’re going on a trip with seven straight night games in our division and I think it was really important.”
The Phillies are glad to be done with the Dodgers, who they beat four times in seven meetings.
Sunday’s starting pitcher, Zach Eflin, did not get to witness the walk-off for himself because he was back in the clubhouse watching on TV on a 15-second delay. He was relying on the roar of the crowd and knew something must have happened as he watched Bohm’s grounder trickle out toward Muncy.
“It’s huge, it sets the tone for the road trip,” Eflin said after striking out a career-high 12. “The last road trip we went on, we played really well. It was a huge game for us to get and take. that momentum on the road. “
Zack Wheeler will open things up for the Phillies at 7:20 pm in Atlanta Monday after pitching seven scoreless innings in his last start.