As is often the case when a game goes 15 innings (or longer), some weird lineup decisions have to be made. For the Phillies, that meant putting starting pitcher Vince Velasquez in the left field corner while outfielder Roman Quinn took the mound in the late stages of Friday’s 4-3 loss to the White Sox.
Both players managed to keep the game tied in the 14th. Quinn kicked off the inning with a five-pitch walk to José Abreu, then induced a line out from Eloy Jiménez for the first out. In the next at-bat, James McCann roped a single out to left, giving Velasquez the opportunity to make a throw to home plate as Abreu attempted to steal a go-ahead run.
Velasquez’s outfield heroics continued into the 15th and final inning. He attempted another lightning throw to prevent Leury Garcia from plating the winning run, but fell short as Garcia beat the tag by a split second. In the last play of the inning, Jiménez lofted a pitch out to left field, where Velasquez tumbled head over heels to rob the White Sox of a much-needed insurance run; per Simon, a move that had a 15% catch probability converted on a diving play. The damage had already been done, however, and the Phillies couldn’t get ahead of Josh Osich to close the gap in the bottom of the 15th.
With the loss, the Phillies dropped to a full seven games behind the NL East-leading Braves. They’ll send right-hander Aaron Nola to the mound in an attempt to even the series against the White Sox on Saturday at 7:05 PM EDT.