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.
According to MLB.com’s Andrew Simon, Velasquez’s throw registered a cool 94.7-m.p.h., allowing catcher J.T. Realmuto plenty of time to nab the runner and preserve the tie.
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.
LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles Dodgers reliever Joe Kelly had his suspension for throwing pitches near the heads of Houston hitters reduced to five games on appeal.
Kelly was originally penalized eight games by Major League Baseball on July 29, a day after throwing a 96 mph fastball near the head of Houston’s Alex Bregman and two curveballs that brushed back Carlos Correa.
The Dodgers on Wednesday confirmed the reduced penalty.
Kelly went on the 10-day injured list retroactive to last Sunday with right shoulder inflammation. He will serve his suspension when he returns.
After striking out Corea, Kelly curled his lip into a pouting expression and exchanged words with the shortstop.
Benches cleared after Kelly’s actions during the sixth inning of Los Angeles’ 5-2 win at Houston in the teams’ first meeting since it was revealed the Astros stole signs en route to a 2017 World Series title over the Dodgers.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts served his one-game suspension the same day the penalty was handed down. Astros manager Dusty Baker was fined an undisclosed amount.
Kelly denied that he purposely threw at the Astros. He has previously been suspended in his career for throwing at a batter.
The penalties were imposed by former pitcher Chris Young, MLB’s senior vice president of baseball operations, who issued his first ruling since taking over the job from Joe Torre.