Miscommunication Leads to Costly Blunder in Diamondbacks Loss to Phillies

Geraldo Perdomo and Jake McCarthy of the Diamondbacks collide while attempting to catch a ball against the Phillies.
(Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)

Phillies 4, Diamondbacks 3 (10 innings)

PHOENIX, Jun 14 — A miscommunication in shallow right field, and the resultant collision, gave the Philadelphia Phillies an extra out to score the go-ahead run in the top of the tenth, inching them past the Arizona Diamondbacks, 4–3, Wednesday night.

“With how well we do the little things each night,” manager Torey Lovullo said, “this one jumps out and surprises you. Just goes to show you that you can’t take anything for granted.”

The Diamondbacks had to rally to even send it to extra innings, with the game-tying three-run homer from Christian Walker coming in the bottom of the eighth. This was due to the fantastic efforts of Phillies starter Ranger Suarez. The southpaw tossed seven scoreless innings, limiting the Diamondbacks to four hits while walking two and striking out seven. This came from his heavier use of four-seam fastballs when the Diamondbacks were expecting him to mainly use two-seamers, according to Lovullo. He added, “Then he worked the inner half of the plate at the right time to right-handed hitters.”

Phillies Take Lead

Diamondbacks starter Merrill Kelly — whom Phillies manager Rob Thomson expected to have “a pretty good start” in his pregame comments — walked the first two batters of the game, left fielder Kyle Schwarber and shortstop Trea Turner. After right fielder Nick Castellanos struck out, designated hitter Bryce Harper belted a deep liner to center. Jake McCarthy sprinted straight back to the wall, making a leaping catch near the warning track while doing a mid-air 180. Both runners had to book it back to their bases. When Diamondbacks shortstop Nick Ahmed caught McCarthy’s throw, he relayed it to first, trying to double off Turner. But the throw went wild, allowing the runners to advance to second and third. But red-hot catcher J.T. Realmuto smashed a liner straight to third, where Emmanuel Rivera gloved it for the third out.

The Phillies led off each of the next two innings with an extra-base hit. In the second, second baseman Bryson Stott ripped a triple to right and scored two batters later, when third baseman Edmundo Sosa grounded into a 6–4 force play. (The plays sandwiched a walk by first baseman Kody Clemens.) In the third, Turner led off with a double to right. He advanced to third on a fly to right by Castellanos. After Harper walked, Realmuto hit a slow grounder to second. Ahmed whipped the ball to second for the first out, but Realmuto beat second baseman Geraldo Perdomo’s relay to first, allowing Turner to score the second run. The third Phillies run came in the top of the sixth, when Realmuto crushed a one-out solo homer to left.

Diamondbacks Perseverance Pays Off

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The Diamondbacks had a runner reach scoring position in the third. Perdomo hit a one out single and advanced to third thanks to a Phillies miscue. Rivera hit a comebacker that should have been an inning-ending double play, but Stott missed the catch on Suarez’s throw, allowing Perdomo to reach third. But left fielder Lourdes Gurriel Jr. could not capitalize, ending the inning by grounding into a 3–6–1 double play. One inning later, designated hitter Evan Longoria cracked a one-out double to left, but two straight grounders to second left him stranded on third.

The frustrations ended in the bottom of the eighth. McCarthy welcomed Phillies reliever Seranthony Dominguez to the game with a double to the right-field corner. A Perdomo walk put runners on first and second with one out. Two batters later, a wild pitch advanced the runners to second and third with two out. Walker obliterated the next pitch for the game-tying home run.

But the Diamondbacks squandered the opportunity to do more. Longoria followed the Walker homer with a single to center. Gregory Soto took over for Dominguez to try and get the mess under control but promptly walked pinch-hitter Ketel Marte. Josh Rojas pinch-ran for Longoria as Ahmed stepped to the plate. He hit a grounder up the middle but too close to Turner, who fielded it cleanly and flipped to Stott for an inning-ending force at second.

The Collision

Both teams stranded a runner in scoring position in the ninth, the Diamondbacks off Craig Kimbrel and the Phillies off Scott McGough, sending the game to extras. Center fielder Brandon Marsh started the 10th as the automatic runner on second for the Phillies as the top of their lineup came to bat, still against McGough. Schwarber led off with a foul popup to the catcher. Turner followed with a fly to shallow right. Perdomo had a great jump on the ball, sprinting hard toward the landing spot. McCarthy, who moved to right field after the lineup shuffling resulting from the pinch-hitting, had a late break on the ball but also was poised to make a running catch. Perdomo called for the ball both vocally and with flailing arms. They arrived, Perdomo reaching up to make the catch, only for McCarthy to run smack dab into him.

McCarthy ended up on his back. The ball fell harmlessly to the turf. Marsh ended up on third as Turner coasted into second. So when Castellanos launched a deep fly to center, one that McCarthy caught on the warning track, instead of it being the third out of the inning, it was the go-ahead sacrifice fly.

Rivera started the bottom of the 10th as the automatic runner on second. Jose Alvarado took the mound to close for the Phillies. Gurriel led off with one of the two worst outs he could have made — a rollover grounder to third that could not advance the runner. Walker followed with a walk, bringing up Gabriel Moreno to pinch-hit. He struck out, bringing up pinch-hitter Corbin Carroll as the last hope. His grounder up the middle was scooped up by Turner, who stepped on the bag for the final out.

Quick Hits

McCarthy told reporters after the game that he heard Perdomo calling him off but didn’t stop running. He added that Perdomo didn’t hear him, and it was a case of two people trying hard to catch the ball. But McCarthy was not going to cast blame. “I take responsibility for it,” he said. … Realmuto, with his homer and two RBI, is now 7-for-12 on the series with two doubles, two triples, two homers, two walks, six RBI, and seven runs scored. “He’s loading up, staying on his back side, and getting back to the form we’ve seen him use at a very high level for a lot of years,” Lovullo said. “Good hitters, you can’t keep down forever. He’s a good player.”

Lovullo used Kelly as the catcher three straight games to help Moreno recover from catching four games in a row. He mentioned that he caught Moreno four days in a row recently, so he wanted to get Moreno rested up. From here on, he expects the team to split time between the two “50/50.” Since returning, Kelly is 0-for-11 with a walk, four strikeouts, and an RBI. He also has yet to throw out a base stealer in seven attempts.

Looking Ahead

Kimbrel (5–1) got the win while McGough (0–5) took the loss, both in relief. McGough’s loss was the second this season in which he pitched two or more innings without allowing an earned run. Alvarado notched his sixth save of the season. The Phillies (34–34) and Diamondbacks (41–27) close out their four-game series Thursday afternoon at Chase Field. Aaron Nola (5–5, 4.60 ERA) will take the hill for the Phillies against Diamondbacks rookie Ryne Nelson (3–3, 4.95 ERA) in a battle of right-handers. First pitch will be at 12:40 pm Arizona Time.

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Evan M. Thompson, Editor-in-chief

Evan M. Thompson, Editor-in-chief

Evan is the owner and sole contributor of Thompson Talks, a website discussing the Big Four North American Pro Sports as well as soccer. He also is a credentialed member of the Colorado Rockies press corps. His first and biggest love is baseball.

Evan lives in Gilbert, Arizona and loves history, especially of sports. He is the treasurer for the Hemond Chapter of the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) and also is a USSF and AIA soccer referee. He released his first book, Volume I of A Complete History of the Major League Baseball Playoffs, in October of 2021.

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