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Bullpen deflates Phils with a 5-3 defeat to the Braves

With Bryce Harper planning a thumb surgery on Wednesday, it’s no wonder Phillies can make a deal to boost the attack in the absence of the MVP, which is a popular issue. That is.

But don’t forget the bullpen, which is Phillies’ greatest need.

Now and always, Phillies seems to be a few rescuers who are missing a reliable late crew. Reminders are frequent. Whether Corey Knebel approaches seven instead of nine, or Journeyman Andrew Verratti enters the eighth in the Thai game, the bullpen is always a weakness.

Verratti turned on the firing line on Tuesday night. Two days after winning his first career save in his hometown of San Diego, he gave up a tiebreaker line drive to Matt Olson’s right fielder and lost to the Atlanta Braves 5-3. Opener of the important 3 game series.

One inning before, Kyle Schwarber hit a center-fielder homer and brought the announced 27,725 spectators back to life at Citizens Bank Park. But Olson’s Homer exhaled all the air.

That’s what the Phillies bullpen does. Bleed the air is that specialty.

This is an important week for the Phillies, who are acclimatizing to life without Harper. How long will it take at least 6 weeks or to achieve the vow to play again this season? They are chasing Atlanta with both divisions and wildcards. And when the Braves leave town, St. Louis Cardinals (also a wildcard mix) visits.

Schwarber tried his loved one to carry out an attack called Harper. During the decline of June, his favorite month on the baseball calendar, he extended his on-base percentage to 31 games. The first inning with Braves starter Charlie Morton was followed by a third five-pitch walk.

The Braves wanted to play Schwarber in the seventh inning. Left-handed reliever Dylan Lee did not allow left-handed batters to hit long throughout the season. However, Schwarber pulled him deep into his team-leading 21st home run of the season, building a 3-3 tie.

It was a fierce continuation of June for Schwarber, who hit 19 home runs in 15 games at the Washington Nationals last June. Entering the game, he hit .674 with 10 home runs and a .395 on-base percentage this month.

Schwarber may have been in a position to preempt the Phillies even if interim manager Rob Thomson did not make any suspicious moves in the sixth inning (more on this later). But when tying the game, he set up the Phillies for a potentially dramatic late inning victory.

Instead, Olson had a deeper understanding of Verratti. The Braves won by adding a match against Brad Hand in the ninth inning.

A par of the course against the bullpen that has disappointed the Phillies since 2020.

Zack Wheeler allowed a series of home runs in the first inning, a very rare event for the Phillies Ace.

How rare is it? please think about it. Before Travis d’Arnaud and Matt Olson got deeper, Wheeler gave up a total of three home runs in 74⅔ innings this season. He has not allowed the Giants (Buster Posey and Tommy La Stella) to hit two home runs in one inning since April 20, 2021. ..

But Wheeler put it together. He gave up three more hits, piled up 19 swings and mistakes, pitched to 7 innings and left the Phillies in the game.

Nick Castellanos returned to the role of DH when Harper was absent, and Thomson said he was committed to giving Mickey Moniak more at-bats.

However, it was puzzling that he did not hit Moniak in the sixth inning.

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After dragging 3-2 at the tie-in-grand on third base, Phillies stuck to Moniak to confront Lee. Don’t worry that Moniak is 0 to 15 with 9 strikeouts against left-handed as a major leaguer. Or, that Lee is deadly to a left-handed batter. Or there was Matt Beering on the bench swinging to the right. Moniak jumped out and finished the inning.

Moniak hasn’t hit the curve ball with 12 strikeouts in the majors this season, 28-4. Then it’s no wonder the Braves threw 11 curved balls at Moniak at 15 pitches.

The replay review escaped the ignorance that the Phillies encountered a triple kill in the fourth inning.

Braves right fielder Adam Duvall made a spectacular dive catch on the Castellanos sinking line drive. Rhys Hoskins got out of first base and doubled. The Braves suspected that he might have also caught Schwarber, who was summoned by the referee.

However, Schwarber clearly went from second to third base. Thomson challenged Cole and overturned it before Phillies finally stuck Schwarber on third base.

It would have been the first triple play directed against the Phillies since the Houston Astros did it in 2004.

Scott Lauber is a reporter for The Philadelphia Inquirer

Bullpen deflates Phils with a 5-3 defeat to the Braves

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