Game Recap 7/21/23 | Guardians Beat the Phillies 6-5

July 21, 2023

Andy Billman

Observations from the Game

3 things About Guardians Victory Over the Philadelphia Phillies

1 – Bullpen Late Lockdown  

The Guardians bullpen took us on another adventure tonight, giving up four more runs, but the ending of the ride was very nice!

In the bottom of the 7th with one out, Trevor Stephan came into the game to relieve Nick Sandlin, Sandlin gave up three of the runs on two home runs in the 7th, but Stephan was able to get out of the inning without giving up another run.  Stephan came back out for the 8th and got a 1-2-3 clean inning. 

Emmanuel Clase came out for the 9th and also got a 1-2-3 inning earning his 26th save on the season. 

Yes, the bullpen struggled in moments, but to see Stephan and Clase combine to get eight outs without giving up a run on the night is an encouraging sign.

2 – Rookie Walks  

The bullpen was asked to pitch five innings as starter Gavin Williams was only able to go four innings giving up one run with four walks.  The walks and long at-bats by the Phillie hitters really took a toll on Williams causing his early exit.  

3 – Guardos RISP

Multiple hitters got big hits in big spots for the Guardians as Cleveland went 6 for 14 with runners in scoring position with five different hitters getting the six hits. 

Game Summary

Bryce Harper’s impressive display at first base during his inaugural career start in the position couldn’t save the Philadelphia Phillies from their 6-5 defeat against the Cleveland Guardians on Friday night, breaking their 12-game interleague winning streak.

Cleveland’s José Ramírez shone with four hits, while David Fry contributed with two runs batted in.

Despite a two-run homer by J.T. Realmuto and a solo shot from Bryson Stott, the Phillies missed several early scoring opportunities and suffered only their fourth loss in the last 19 road games.

The game marked Philadelphia’s chance to witness Harper’s transition to the infield, and he left a lasting impression. The two-time MVP showcased his skills, making a veteran-like catch in the third inning, tracking down a high popup from Amed Rosario before tumbling into an empty photographer’s pit, fortunately uninjured.

In preparation for the potential pursuit of an outfielder before the August 1 deadline, the Phillies moved Harper to first base. He displayed his readiness for the new position when he cleanly fielded a bouncer from Cleveland’s Steven Kwan in the opening inning, smoothly flipping the ball to Suárez for the out.

The Phillies struggled to capitalize on scoring opportunities early on, stranding ten runners and leaving the bases loaded three times through six innings. However, they rallied back with the help of the long ball in the seventh inning.

Harper started the inning with a walk, followed by Realmuto’s massive 413-foot home run to left field off reliever Nick Sandlin. Just three pitches later, Stott added to the excitement with a towering homer to right, narrowing the gap to 6-5.

Trevor Stephan (5-4) pitched effectively for the Guardians in the seventh and eighth innings, while closer Emmanuel Clase secured a flawless ninth, earning his 26th save in 33 attempts.

Cleveland initially gained a 2-0 lead in the first inning as Josh Bell hit a run-scoring double with two outs off Ranger Suárez, who later conceded an RBI single to David Fry.

The Phillies had their chances, loading the bases with two outs in the second inning against Guardians rookie Gavin Williams, but he managed to escape trouble by popping up Jake Cave, who was recalled from Triple-A Lehigh Valley earlier in the day.

Philadelphia managed to reduce Cleveland’s lead to 2-1 in the third inning as Trea Turner tripled with one out and then scored on a groundout by Nick Castellanos.

In the fourth, the Guardians’ center fielder, Myles Straw, played a significant role in keeping the Phillies at bay by throwing out Alec Bohm at home plate. Once again, Philadelphia loaded the bases with two outs, but Turner’s line-out to Straw ended the threat.

Trainers Room

Cal Quantrill (shoulder inflammation), one of three Cleveland starters on the injured list, will throw a bullpen session Saturday as he continues to slowly work his way back. The Guardians are exercising more caution with Quantrill, who was on the IL earlier this season with the same ailment.

Up Next

Saturday 7/22 7:10 PM EST – Game 2 of 3 Game Series vs Philadelphia Phillies

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