Sunday, May 9, 2021

Game 34 - 2017 Choice Lehigh Valley IronPigs #9 Mark Appel

Braves 8
, Phillies 7 (12 Innings)
Game 34 - Saturday Night, May 8th in Atlanta
Record - 18-16, Tied for 1st Place, 1 1/2 games ahead of the Braves

One Sentence Summary:  The Phillies suffered a brutal 12th inning loss as the bullpen couldn't hold leads in the 9th, 11th and 12th innings.

What It Means:  The five game win streak is over, and hopefully the Phillies can take the series tonight with a Sunday Night Baseball victory.

What Happened:  The Phillies led 3-1 going into the bottom of the ninth inning.  Jean Segura had homered in the first, and Alec Bohm added an RBI-groundout.  In the second, Andrew McCutchen added an RBI single but then the Phillies offense completely shut down for the middle innings.

Hector Neris recorded two outs to start the ninth before a walk and a pinch-hit home run from Pablo Sandoval tied the game up.  In the 10th, Brandon Kintzler worked in and out of trouble with the Phillies once again taking a lead in the 11th on a Nick Maton RBI double.  In the bottom of the 11th, the Braves tied the score again when Didi Gregorius had a throwing error allowing Cristian Pache to score.

Finally, the Phillies took a 7-4 lead in the 12th on a pair of Braves errors and an RBI single from J.T. Realmuto.  In the nightmare bottom of the 12th, Enyel De Los Santos loaded the bases before surrendering a game-tying, bases clearing double to William Contreras, which was momentarily bobbled by left fielder McCutchen.  Matt Moore entered and allowed the game-winning single to Ehire Adrianza.

Featured Card:  The featured card for this game evolved as the game progressed, with Phillies starting pitcher Vince Velasquez initially getting the nod for his strong start, allowing a run on two hits over 5 1/3 innings.  Then the card was going to be Maton for his clutch hit in the 11th, followed by Realmuto for his big hit in the 12th.  Neris, De Los Santos and Moore ruined those plans, so I'm going with a card for former #1 pick Mark Appel.

Appel came to the Phillies in the December 2015 Ken Giles trade with the Astros, and after a series of setbacks and injuries, he stepped away from the game in 2017.  Yesterday, he made his return to baseball, pitching 2 2/3 innings for the Reading Fightin Phils, allowing a run on three hits.  I'm rooting for Appel and I'm happy to see him back.

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