Insanity. Craziness. Madness. Whatever you want to call it, the game between the Philadelphia Phillies and the Chicago White Sox last night made absolutely ZERO sense. Pinch runners, people playing out of position, Gold Glove caliber defense from non-fielders, and overall just 15 innings of pure madness capped off what was easily one of the most exciting baseball games of the year.
The game started off completely normal. Newly acquired lefty Jason Vargas made his debut for our Fightin’ Phils, going 6.1 innings and allowing only 2 runs. Despite his 80 MPH soft tosses coming across as super hittable, it was a breath of fresh air to see a pitcher not named Aaron Nola actually make it past the 5th inning. I was personally very happy with the ex-Mets first performance as a Phillie.
Besides some good hitting and “small-ball” baseball from Jean Segura (2/5, RBI, R, 2BB) and Roman Quinn (3/6, RBI, 2R, BB, HR, 2SB), the offense went completely brain dead. The combo of Hoskins, Harper, Realmuto and Kingery went 2/24 at the plate, and the team as a whole left a ridiculous 15 runners on base. Throw in the fact that the bases were loaded 3 separate times on the evening, and it’s pretty clear why we ended up losing this one.
A 405 foot blast by none other than Roman Quinn. pic.twitter.com/RSFOg04WbE
— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) August 3, 2019
After the dynamic duo of Nicasio and Alvarez unsurprisingly blew a 3-2 lead in the ninth inning, the game headed into extra innings. Nothing really happened in the first few innings of extra baseball, however little did we know that we were in store for some straight lunacy…
In the bottom of the 13th, Zach Eflin who had pitched the last two innings successfully, found himself standing on second base with 2 outs. With no one else apparently available in the bullpen (I have no clue what was wrong with Ranger Suarez), Gabe made the shocking decision to pinch run starting pitcher Vince Velasquez for Eflin. Obviously this did not work out, so Kapler had to somehow find himself a new pitcher for the 14th inning.
Roman Quinn was going to pitch and Vince Velasquez was heading out to line up as the new left fielder. Yep, you read that correctly. I couldn’t believe my eyes, I literally felt like I was dreaming. A couple weird plays later and Quinn found himself with a man on second and one out. White Sox Catcher James McCan then laced a ball into left field for an easy RBI single. Except, that’s not what happened…check it out below:
Vince Velasquez is a pitcher.
He is playing left field.
He just threw a runner out at the plate.
— MLB (@MLB) August 3, 2019
Yup, Vince Velasquez just absolutely gunned down a runner at home, saving a run. As I said before, pure insanity. The inning ended with Franco making a diving stop on the third base line, throwing out Fulmer at first. The Phils didn’t manage to score and Quinn trotted on out back to the mound for the 15th.
Roman somehow grabbed two quick ground outs, before allowing a hit and a walk. Jose Abreu then launched a hard ground ball into left field. Despite not recording the out, Vince lasered in yet another perfect throw to the plate, making it so close that the umps needed to review it. No more than 5 minutes later the inning ended on a diving catch via Vince Vleasquez that had a 15% catch probability. That percent rates as a “5 star catch”, technically making it the best defensive play among all Phillies this season. I-N-S-A-N-I-T-Y.
— MLB (@MLB) August 3, 2019
The Phillies went on to lose the game 4-3, with Roman Quinn striking out looking in the bottom of the 15th as the remaining Philly crowd chanted “M-V-P”. It seemed somewhat poetic that he would be the final out in a game where he did so much. The Phillies losing to the White Sox is embarrassing, and its 99% on the offense for doing such an atrocious job with runners on base. However given all that, it was one hell of a game to watch. Quinn is an elite closer and Vince should win a Gold Glove, that is all.
-David Esser via Philly Sports Insider
~stats taken from MLB.com~
~image taken from @Phillies via Twitter~