It was a Long Strange Trip to the non-waiver trade deadline, as the Philadelphia Phillies, despite plenty of rumors, had no Deals go down. Now they try to Roll Away the Dew of August as the San Francisco Baseball Giants come Truckin’ into town. Yes, it was the first ever Grateful Dead Tribute night held by the Phillies as $4.00 of every sold theme ticket went to the venerable Rex Foundation and the first 1,500 tickets sold through that promotion got this far-out tie-die. This old-dead-head was too slow on the buy button to get one – I will have to train better to not be a Loser next time.
RHP Zach Eflin (3-4. 4.23 ERA) looked to be the Fire on the Mountain for the Phils, facing LHP Madison Bumgarner (10-6, 2.09)
Eflin had a tough first inning, not helped by his defense (an error and a DP that should have been turned), throwing 22 pitches, but he did get through it unscathed.
Not so for Bumgarner in the bottom of the inning as Cesar Hernandez led off with a solid single, and Aaron Altherr (2) followed with a first pitch laser to RCF to make it 2-0. Maikel Franco followed with a single, but he was stranded. Eflin did get the SDI, but not after putting the first two men on, and for some crazy reason, Giants manager Bruce Bochy let Bumgarner swing away instead of moving them over. He struck out and eventually the Giants only got a runner to third.
The Phillies meanwhile were making their hits count as after Tyler Goeddel reached on an error, and two outs were made, Hernandez laid down a perfect bunt. Altherr then knocked Goeddel in with a single. They were not done though as Maikel Franco (20) hit an 0-1 FB for a three run shot to CF. All four runs were unearned and all scored with two outs. Eflin had an easy 1-2-3 SDI after that outburst.
Brandon Crawford (10) broke up the shut out in the fourth with a solo HR to RF but that was only the beginning as Eflin’s Crazy Fingers started to fail him in the fifth. He gave all the runs back on a two run, two out, bases loaded single, and then a 3 run bomb to Brandon Belt (12). The Giants came in the game with a league leading 31 come from behind victories, but this one was not to be added to that tally.
Phillies would Let It Rock off Bumgarner once again, as Franco, on his 3rd hit of the night, led off the bottom of the inning with a double, and Tommy Joseph singled him in on his first hit of the game. This did give Eflin a chance for the W as his night would be finished after 5In, 6H, 6R, all earned, 4K, 3BB, 2HR 102 pitches – 64 for strikes. Luis Garcia – just called up as Andrew Bailey was sent down – took over in the sixth and proceeded to walk Bumgarner and two outs later Angel Pagan (7) gave the Giants the lead 8-7, with a blast to RF in the sixth.
Bumgarner now was the pitcher leaving the game with a chance for the win, after a lead off walk to Taylor Featherston, 5In, 10H, 8R, 4 earned, 4K, 2BB, 2HR, 94 pitches – 58 for strikes. But he had to have a Foolish Heart to believe that would hold, as after 2 strike outs by reliever Hunter Strickland, Franco tied it up with another single – his fourth hit of the game. Both pitchers now had a ND in a game both deserved to lose. Edubray Ramos got the much needed SDI in the seventh. Hector Neris held the Giants in the eighth.
In the bottom of the inning Odubel Herrera, in a PH role, beat out an infield single, despite the stupid head-first slide, and Hernandez doubled to make it second and third, with one out. Altherr then had the Phans Dancin’ in the Seats with a two RBI single – his fourth and fifth RBI’s of the night. After a Franco BB, Cameron Rupp would then put the Phillies lead back to five w/ a three run 💣 to RCF. The last three runs coming off of Black Throated Wind himself, Sergio Romo.
In the end The Wheel would turn the Phillies way and it was their Tie Died Phaithful Sittin’ On Top Of The World, celebrating the 13-8 singing You Win Again. Neris (4-3, 2.47) wound up with the W, while Will Smith (1-4, 4.43), just over from the Milwaukee Brewers, was saddled with the L. Garcia (1) and Strickland (4) each would Blow Away a save.
Playing In The Band End Notes:
Let It Grow: Hard to pick out any one offensive star tonight but let’s just hope the top of the order can build on what they did against a good starter and pen as the One thru Four hitters went 12 for 19, 3HR, 12 RBI, 10 R. Hernandez and Franco each had four H, and Altherr, Franco and Rupp had 5, 4, and 3 RBIs respectively. Overall it was a season high 13 runs. The last time Bumgarner gave up 6 runs in the first two innings was 7/31/2015 at Texas. Tonight was the most the Phillies have put up against him in nine starts. Franco was also the first 3B since Scott Rolen in 2001 to reach the 20 HR milestone.
Till The Morning Comes: Tomorrow night the Phillies will send out RHP Aaron Nola (6-9, 4.78) against RHP Johnny Cueto ( 13-3, 2.63). I will be at CBP, though I have some extra company so will not be live tweeting.
Credit to www.dead.net/songs for refreshing this Old-DeadHeads memory – So Many Roads to remember.