PHILADELPHIA — Bryce Harper gave the 96 mph fastball a deep experience that had a number of thousand straggling followers that paid for $1 sizzling canine and a pennant race standing in euphoria.
Harper’s ball landed 401 toes away in Baltimore middle fielder Cedric Mullins’s glove, the ultimate out of a futile effort for the Phillies towards the worst crew in baseball.
He was simply quick. The Phillies can solely hope they do not finish that method within the NL East race.
John Means struck out six and stymied Harper and a Phillies crew in an eleventh-hour playoff push to steer the Baltimore Orioles to a 2-0 win Monday night time.
“We simply weren’t in a position to give you an enormous hit,” Philadelphia supervisor Joe Girardi stated.
The Phillies had simply 4 hits towards Means (6-7) and two relievers.
Losers of two straight, the Phillies dropped three video games behind Atlanta within the NL East after the Braves beat the 102-loss Diamondbacks 11-4 later Monday. Philadelphia is 3½ video games behind St. Louis for the second wild card. Cincinnati and San Diego additionally lead the Phillies within the wild-card chase.
The Phillies opened a seven-game homestand with three towards the 102-loss Orioles and 4 extra towards a Pittsburgh Pirates crew inching towards 100 losses.
“It isn’t the way you wish to begin the homestand,” Girardi stated, “however it does not inform the entire story. We have gotta flip it round tomorrow and let’s have a look at what occurs the remainder of the week.”
The Phillies desperately wanted to pile up wins towards two groups enjoying out the string in the event that they wished subsequent week’s three-game set in Atlanta to have any postseason implications.
Right here’s what they bought as an alternative: an offense led by Harper, an NL MVP candidate, handcuffed by Means, who tossed four-hit ball pitching into the seventh. Means, who pitched a no-hitter Might 5, even doubled within the seventh for his first profession extra-base hit.
Means yielded to righty Cole Sulser with runners on the corners, and he retired Freddy Galvis on a flyball to proper to finish the seventh.
“This felt like extra my fashion of pitching,” Means stated.
Harper, who led MLB with a 1.052 OPS, walked within the first inning, struck out swinging within the fourth and the sixth innings towards Means. Harper represented the tying run however flew out to finish the sport an evening earlier in a 4-2 loss to the Mets.
The slugging outfielder has been tasked with carrying the Phillies to the playoffs for the primary time since 2011 with out a lot assist round him. Harper hit one to the wall within the ninth towards Tyler Wells. Wells then retired J.T. Realmuto and Andrew McCutchen for his third save.
The Phillies have been booed off the sector.
Ranger Suarez (6-5) gave up consecutive RBI singles to Pedro Severino and Ryan McKenna within the first inning earlier than he settled down in a recreation he wanted to win. He struck out 5 and his ERA bumped to 1.60.
The Phillies are within the playoff race, although years of mediocre baseball and the beginning of the Eagles season sapped town of enthusiasm for the September stretch run. The crew introduced 21,440 followers — although far lower than that appeared readily available.
Shedding to the Orioles received’t put a spark within the metropolis. Or followers within the seats.
Girardi stated earlier than the sport pennant races are all the time enjoyable.
This one, although, crushed the Phillies.
“While you consider all of the work you’ve put in to get thus far, to have a possibility to get into the playoffs, to be related in your division,” it’s enjoyable, Girardi stated. “It actually begins the day after final 12 months’s season. You begin planning. You begin working. Gamers begin doing issues. That is what it’s all about. All that stuff you probably did in November and December, January and February, that is what it’s all about. We’re lucky to be on this place. So it’s a must to reap the benefits of it.”
Once more, the Phillies couldn’t take benefit towards one of many worst groups in baseball. Arizona swept the Phillies in a three-game set in mid-August and the sub-.500 Rockies took three of 4 in Philly earlier this month.
OUT OF OFFICE
Mullins didn’t begin. He has 29 house runs and 30 stolen bases. He entered for protection on a double-switch within the ninth.
Orioles: RHP Chris Ellis has arm fatigue and his subsequent scheduled begin shall be pushed again.
HE SAID IT
“If that’s my final at-bat, I’m proud of it.” — Means, on his double and the opportunity of MLB utilizing a common DH subsequent season.
The Orioles and Phillies are every throwing bullpen video games with openers TBD.
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