The hitter’s paradise of Citizens Bank Park was forced to house an old fashioned pitcher’s standoff on Thursday night—until it wasn’t.
Phillies closer Ian Kennedy inherited a 2-1 lead in the ninth inning and worked the Rockies down to their last strike. Pinch hitter Ryan McMahon would then bid farewell to an 80-mph curveball, and his go-ahead home run handed the Phillies their 30th blown save of the year.
The Rockies would surmount the damage with a solo shot by Sam Hilliard in back-to-back fashion, and Kennedy was chased before completing an inning.
Carlos Estévez put the stamp on a 9th inning save. Colton Welker, Tyler Kinley and Lucas Gilbreath set the table for a comeback. The Rockies played spoiler in the NL East to open the four-game set, and they have snapped a four-game skid in dramatic fashion.
Senzatela fights through six frames
The Rockies were in desperate need of a deep start tonight after allowing 38 runs in their previous 36 innings. Antonio Senzatela gave them six frames of two-run baseball, averaging just under four batters per inning. He was pulled after just 90 pitches.
Damage came in the form of a solo home run by Bryce Harper and an RBI fielder’s choice by Brad Miller. Senzatela was otherwise smooth in spacing four hits and two walks across his six frames.
Suárez outduels Senzatela
Phillies starter Ranger Suárez kept his ERA at a 1.38 this evening with a six-inning, one-run outing. His lone blemish on the night came on a fourth-inning RBI single by recent call-up Colton Welker (!) following a Trevor Story triple to right.
Suárez tossed 96 pitches on the night. He handed a 2-1 lead over to a Phillies bullpen that stayed on the attack for two additional innings.
Harper leads the Phillies’ offensive charge
Bryce Harper was the only one in the Philadelphia lineup with multiple hits tonight. His first-inning home run gave his team the lead until the ninth inning, and his single in the sixth inning would further set the table for his team’s second run.
There was a huge drop-off after Harper’s spot in the order, however. The four-through-nine spots in the Phillies lineup did not record a hit.
Welker and Daza record multi-hit games
One week ago, Colton Welker had yet to make his big league debut and Yonathan Daza was still on the injured list. They were the only two Rockies to have multi-hit games this evening. Welker’s final hit on the night would score on McMahon’s go-ahead blast.
Rockies bullpen shines in the seventh, eighth
Tyler Kinley and Lucas Gilbreath were exceptional this evening, facing the minimum across a combined two innings. It was a welcome sight for a Rockies staff that allowed a fair amount of runs to the Braves and Giants, and it set the table for some torrential fireworks to come.
Rockies win probability before McMahon steps to the plate: 8 percent.
GO AHEAD 9TH INNING RYMAC JACK pic.twitter.com/AiEY1FMolR— Colorado Rockies (@Rockies) September 10, 2021
Rockies win probability after McMahon goes yard: 80.7%
Sam Hilliard - Colorado Rockies (10) pic.twitter.com/yS12g3AgdZ— MLB HR Videos (@MLBHRVideos) September 10, 2021
Rockies win probability after Hilliard’s bomb: 91.2%
(Broken seats at Citizens Bank Park: maybe two.)
With two swings, the Rockies stole every bit of the Phillies’ momentum.
Estévez makes it interesting
The Phillies put up a fight in the ninth, collecting two hits off newly-appointed Rockies closer Carlos Estévez.
The threat began with a one-out single by Brad Miller, followed by an Andrew McCutchen double and RBI groundout by Didi Gregorious. The tying run was 90 feet away with two outs, but a strikeout by J.T. Realmuto would cap off Estévez’s sixth save of the year.
Germán Márquez (11-10, 4.08 ERA) will toe the rubber for the Rockies on Friday while the Phillies have yet to announce their starter.
Márquez last pitched on Saturday against the Braves and allowed two earned runs in five innings, marginally lowering his post-All-Star ERA to a 5.73. The right-hander has already pitched against the Phillies this year (April 23), allowing two earned runs in six frames. He struck out eight that night.
The series in Philadelphia will continue Friday night at 5:05 p.m. MDT.