Game 31 Recap: Scott Kingery Walk-Off Home Run Gives Phillies 7-4 Win

Those two extra innings almost felt like their own game. 

 By my unofficial count, it was 56 minutes from the final out of the ninth to Scott Kingery’s walk-off home run. By comparison, the Braves and Yankees got through an entire seven-inning game in an hour and 58 minutes. 

On a night where Ender Inciarte homered off a left-handed pitcher and the worst bullpen in baseball didn’t allow a run in its final five innings of work, it was only fitting the walk-off home run was hit by a man with a .319 OPS and a wRC+ of -11 entering play tonight. 

It doesn’t make it any more enjoyable to talk about, though. 

Positives: 

  • Disastrous 0-2 meatball to Kingery side (we’ll get there), that was a herculean effort from Atlanta’s bullpen. Seven relievers combined to fire 6 ⅔ innings shutout innings with eight strikeouts and two (intentional) walks before the three-run home run by Kingery. They pretty much carried this game on their backs without a lot of support, only for the weight to eventually become too much in the 11th. 
  • A special shoutout should go to Shane Grene here. His ERA for the season is down to 0.59, and his 10th inning was an incredible feat of pitching. 

You have to seriously trust your breaking stuff to throw anything down in the dirt with Roman Quinn—the league leader in sprint speed—standing on third base as the winning run. Greene threw three sliders and three sinkers to JT Realmuto with the game on the line in that scenario. He only threw one fastball throughout his 22-pitch 10th inning, and it was the 1-2 one that Andrew McCutchen got under and skied into left field for a flyout. That was a masterclass in how to calmly trust and execute your pitches with the game on the line. 

  • Austin Riley caught a heat seeking missile in the tenth inning and hit one into the left field seats in the seventh. Riley is 10-for-28 (.357) with two home runs in his last eight games and struck out just six (!) times in that span. After 22 strikeouts in 65 plate appearances to start the season, that’s a huge improvement. Stay hot, Austin. 
  • Ender Inciarte homered off a left-handed pitcher for the first time since August 23rd, 2018 and just the fourth time in his career. Alexa, play “A Whole New World” from Aladdin. 
  • Marcell Ozuna hit a baseball 115.6 MPH off the bat for an RBI double. It’s hard to even comprehend how fast that is. You could fit two Zack Greinke eephus pitches in there and still have speed to spare. A cardboard cutout might have been uprooted from its seat if that ball had landed over the wall. 

Negatives:

  • Alright, about that last pitch. Scott Kingery has been awful his season. It’s impossible to say otherwise. I’m pretty sure you could send the Phillie Phanatic up to the plate with a blindfold and no bat and the numbers would rival Kingery’s. A .319 OPS is ghastly when you consider Inciarte entered tonight at the dizzying heights of .516.

But here’s the thing. He’s still a big league hitter who hit 19 home runs last season. No matter how much he has struggled, you still can’t leave a cutter that far over the plate; even more so when the count is 0-2. Melancon threw a professional hitter a high school pitch, and it was deposited into the seats. 

  • What do the Braves have to do to get a big hit with runners in scoring position? Get Ozzie Albies off the IL? Say some prayers? Sacrifice one of Blooper’s costumes to the RISP gods? Tonight was another brutal tonight; 1-for-14 with RISP and 0-for-5 in extra innings to be exact. In both the 10th and 11th the Braves had a runner on third with less than two outs and couldn’t cash in. Of course when you get a lot of chances to score you’re going to leave a lot of men on base, so in some ways it’s good to see that they’re at least knocking on the door with regularity. 

But until they start kicking it down a little more frequently? Still really frustrating to watch. 

  • I have a few theories as to how Inciarte was called out on his stolen base attempt despite clearly getting his foot in before the tag. 
  1. When instant replay is called, it’s actually just the umpires listening to a podcast through the headphones for two minutes and there is no review room in New York. 
  2. The umpires in New York were in the break room making food when the review came in.
  3. The Phanatic cut the phone line and the review request never reached New York at all.

But ignoring the obvious nature of the missed call, what was the idea there? With Ronald Acuña Jr. standing in the on deck circle and the go-ahead run on third, the only thing that matters is giving your superstar a chance to decide the game. Whether Inciarte was called out or safe there, the run that had to score was still on third. At best, you’re staying out of a hypothetical chance to give the Phillies two outs. At worst, you’re giving them one for free and a chance at the other without Acuña ever reaching the plate. 

  • Nobody is expecting Robbie Erlin to be Greg Maddux, but he shot himself in the foot a couple of times. Walking the No. 9 hitter Roman Quinn meant Andrew McCutchen’s blast drove in two runs instead of one, and of course that extra run came home to roost. And despite his curveball being by far his best pitch—he threw 16 strikes with it on 25 attempts and recorded six outs on curveballs he abandoned that in a possible strikeout spot by throwing Jean Segura a 2-2 fastball at 89 MPH in the fourth. The second two-run home run in as many innings was the result. 
  • It’s safe to laugh about it because the runner was stranded, but Darren O’Day joined Matt Garza in the “Worst throws to first base ever” Hall of Fame tonight. It’s a good thing he remembered how to accurately throw the ball to home plate in the aftermath. 
  • Chip Caray got Chip Caray’d away again several times tonight. He used his patented “HIGH FLY BALL!” home run call on a Matt Adams swing in the ninth…that traveled 321 feet and lands for a hit 2 percent of the time according to statcast. And again on an Austin Riley flyball that went 358 feet and had a 9 percent chance of being a hit in the 10th. He does deserve a little slack because he’s not actually at the ballpark, but he judges fly balls about as well as a bird judges clear windows. 

Former Brave Of The Day: 

 Mike Minor turned the clock back tonight. Way, way, back. October 4th, 2013 to be exact. That was the day he made his only career postseason start, allowing one run in 6 ⅓ innings against the Dodgers at Turner Field. Tonight for the Rangers he threw six shutout innings against the scorching hot Dodgers to help Texas pick up a 6-2 win. 

Quote Of The Day: 

“Baseball is like a poker game. Nobody wants to quit when he’s losing; nobody wants you to quit when you’re ahead.” 

– Jackie Robinson 

Tomorrow’s Goal:

Josh Tomlin has to find a way to eat some innings. The bullpen is drained and they won’t have the benefit of an off day until Thursday. Tomlin needs to at least get through four or five frames to give the Braves a chance in the middle game of the series.

33 thoughts on “Game 31 Recap: Scott Kingery Walk-Off Home Run Gives Phillies 7-4 Win”

  1. Painful loss. But let’s go get ’em today.

    Phillies have won 4 in a row. Let’s go crush their souls in game 2 today.

  2. That was an excellent recap. In fact, as of this reading, I could not imagine a better, thank you.

    I can help you embellish one statistic you used, in this instance re velocity and Marcel Osuna and 115 miles per hour. That happened to be speed at which the automatic gearbox in my Porsche convertible, top down, changed up from 3rd into fourth gear with three more waiting. High up in the Rockies on a country road I had all to myself that was quite beautiful. Osuna’s hit would parallel that, vicariously.

    PS Again, anyone heard from coop? Don’t let that 0-2 pitch get to you, old friend.

  3. “Big Fox” making me watch Cardinals v Indians despite the fact that I’m in the Braves broadcast market. MLB really hates its fans.

  4. And Tyler Flowers’ crappy catching costs us a run.

    To his credit, this is the first time this year I can recall him making me remember that I hate the way he catches.

  5. I’m confused about Fox’s broadcast plan for today. They have their A announcing crew on our game, but they have the Cleveland-St. Louis game going out to 80 percent of the country.

  6. Thanks for asking, blazon. Life sparkles but is difficult right now.

    My child bride of nearly 50 years has hit a rough patch lately. Since we returned from Portugal last November, she has endured multiple surgeries on arms and shoulders. She was a physical therapy warrior and was finally close to 100 percent. We attended a July 4 fireworks watching party at her sister’s at Lake Spivey, bunches of socially distanced folk, with kids, grands and fosters in abundance.

    My sun and moon was in the kitchen preparing the feast with others of the nurturing persuasion. A runaway foster scampered dripping from the pool and left a puddle at the kitchen door. Kay exited same door, hit the puddle, and flew ass over tea kettle and whacked her head on the paved patio as well as step edge.

    Major concussion. Three brain surgeries into the process Kay remains cheerful, funny and brave. She is mostly with us but thinks it is 2049, has confused night and day and held conversations with dearly departed loved ones gone 20+ years.

    Fourth and hopefully final hole will be drilled in my true love’s head tomorrow. Kind thoughts and fervent prayers would be appreciated.

    Go get them, Hammers.

    PS: My minutes are for her alone. Please do not be offended if I do not reply. That said, BJ is my only contact with all things Braves.

  7. @6
    Thanks Timo, but I live in Nashville, so I don’t use MLB.tv, which I had used for years as a Braves fan living in New York and New England. I’m actually paying through the teeth for cable, solely with the purpose of watching Braves games. In the age of 5000 channels there’s no excuse for this nonsense. Especially when MLB and FOX know damn well that nobody is going to watch a regular season game that doesn’t feature their team.

  8. Oh dear, Coop. That’s heartbreaking. I figured something was up when we stopped seeing your positive messages upon arrival of a new post. Keep us up to date on her condition. You are a keystone species of Braves Journal.

  9. Somebody should go kiss the padding at the top of the wall in right-center. It just gave us back the run Flowers gave away.

  10. Best to you & yours, Coop. That’s tough stuff. Here’s to a full recovery.

    For some reason, I’m getting the Braves game on Fox — guess the network figures we’re closest to Philly, but I’ll take it.

    They’ve got Rhys Hoskins mic’d up when he’s out on the field at 1B. He’s no Shecky Greene, but he has offered some interesting tidbits.

    Let’s wake up that offense, fellas.

  11. best wishes, coop, appreciate the time you’ve got and hope for the best.

    Riley just missed a HR; I read that he’s hitting about .350 over the last 12 games or so. The power isn’t quite back, but he’s been robbed by Robles and just missed today.
    I’m less concerned about him than Ender or Camargo.

  12. Pro: Johan Camargo just hit a ball to Delaware.

    Con: He will continue to have a craptastic approach for the rest of time as he continues to try and replicate that.

  13. Alan, your recaps are absolutely amazing. Said it before, just love your pros and cons. Thank you.

  14. Coop—your upbeat and thoughtful comments are one of the highlights of BJ. So sorry to hear about your love’s struggles. There are many here holding both of you close to our hearts.

  15. Between Alan’s recap, blazon’s blazin’ through the Rockies, and coop’s love letter, there’s a lot of good reading here today. Thanks Ryan, for all you do to keep things going.

  16. Yes, 3-run homers will get you beat.

    Let’s get one ourselves tomorrow night & salvage something. This is no time for nosedive.

    Helluva catch by RAJ today on Harper, though…

  17. ‘Greg: Does Atlanta have a pitching development problem? How can guys with the quality of stuff that Touki, Wright, Bryse Wilson, Newcomb have somehow be unable to even be a backend starter so far?
    Keith Law: (Points at Max Fried)

    Patty O’Furniture: So, Ian Anderson looked pretty dang good eh?
    Keith Law: He looked good, but not great. His breaking ball wasn’t very good, with very short break for its velocity, and I don’t think any of his pitches was really plus. He showed good command and I love how he pitched. The individual pitches were a little lighter than I’d hoped, though.’

    A bit tough on Ian I thought but I liked ‘I love how he pitched’. Without entirely understanding it. The ‘pointing at Max Fried’ comment sounded a tad evasive for me. Is one enough if there no backenders from the also rans worthy enough to support him?

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