Bullpen Implodes: McCutchen’s Heroics Beat Phillies

Phillies CF Shane Victorino nearly collides with RF Hunter Pence while making a catch. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

The starting pitching has been nothing short of fantastic for the Phillies so far, allowing only two runs in 20 innings through the first three games of the season.

Unfortunately the same couldn’t be said about the bullpen. David Herndon was the goat on Easter Sunday, as opposed to the more favorable lamb, and the Phillies dropped the series finally – as well as the first series of the season – to the Pirates, 5-4.

Casey McGehee had himself a tremendous game, doubling twice in two huge innings for the Pirates that set up their come back against the Phillies. His double in the bottom of the 9th set up Andrew McCutchen’s walk-off single off the center field wall.

McCutchen went 3-for-4 on the day, including the game-winning RBI.

Hunter Pence had himself a tremendous day at the plate for the Phillies, going 2-for-3 with an RBI double in the 1st and a solo home run in the 4th.

The Phillies scored only four runs in the first 25 innings of the season.

A bad offense does many things, including killing a fantastic start by a pitcher like it did to Vance Worley’s day. Worley cruised through the first six innings, allowing only one run on  five hits and a walk while striking out five.

In the top of the 7th, the Phillies replaced Worley with one out and two runners in scoring position for Laynce Nix, who failed to drive anyone home. Fortunately, Juan Pierre ripped a two-run single into right field to give the Phils a 4-1 cushion late in the game.

The Phillies immediately wasted the two-run insurance given by Pierre in the bottom half of the 7th.

Michael Stutes was on the mound working his way through a 1-2-3 inning. He struck out Pedro Alvarez with one out on a pitch in the dirt. Catcher Brian Schneider made a clean throw to first but Ty Wigginton dropped it, allowing Alvarez to reach base safely.

The next batter, Michael McHenry, would have been the third out on a fly ball but with two outs, Casey McGehee hit an RBI double and Alex Presley hit an RBI single to pull the Pirates back to within one.

Kyle Kendrick and Antonio Bastardo helped blow the lead in the 8th inning when Bastardo surrendered an RBI single to Matt Hague with the run being credited to Kendrick to tie the game up, 4-4.

WP: Hanrahan (1-0). LP: Herndon (0-1).

2B: Pence (1). HR: Pence (1).



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