MLB Baseball

Final 1 2 3   4 5 6   7 8 9   R H E
Pittsburgh0 5 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 660
Philadelphia0 0 5 0 0 3 2 2 x 12110
  W: A. Nola (9-8)   L: A. Banda (2-2)
4:05 PM PT5:05 PM MT6:05 PM CT7:05 PM ET19:05 ET23:05 GMT7:05 4:05 PM MST6:05 PM EST6:35 PM VEN3:05 UAE (+1)5:05 PM CT, September 23, 2021
Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania  Attendance: 16,154

Bryce Harper, Phillies welcome Pirates while hunting playoffs

According to STATS
According to STATS

Pittsburgh Pirates at Philadelphia Phillies

  1. The Pirates won two of the three games they played against the Phillies in Pittsburgh this year (July 30-August 1). The only home run by either team in that series was hit by Pirates catcher Michael Perez in a game the Phillies won, 15-4.
  2. The Pirates have the second-worst record in the National League this year (57-94, .377) but they are 15-15 since August 20. Pittsburgh has won four and split one of its last five series.
  3. Ke'Bryan Hayes was 3-for-5 against the Reds on Tuesday. It was only Hayes' third game in two MLB seasons with more than two hits. He had a five-hit game in 2020 and three-hit game earlier this month (September 6 vs. Detroit).
  4. The Phillies have not allowed more than three runs in any of their last six games. It's their longest such streak since allowing three runs or fewer in eight consecutive games in 2018 (July 30-August 7).
  5. The Phillies beat the Cubs, 17-8, last Thursday, but they have scored only 18 runs in six games since then (four wins and two losses). Four of those six games have been decided by one run (three wins for Philadelphia) and the other two were decided by two runs.
  6. Aaron Nola beat the Mets in his last start, ending a personal nine-start winless streak which matched his career high. Nola also went winless in nine consecutive starts spanning the 2019 and 2020 seasons.
Notes Applicable For Series Dates: 9/23/2021 thru 9/26/2021

Bryce Harper continues to show why he's the Philadelphia Phillies' Most Valuable Player -- and possibly the MVP of the National League as well.

Harper singled, walked twice, scored a run and threw out the potential game-tying run in Pedro Severino in the eighth inning to preserve a 4-3 Phillies win over the Baltimore Orioles on Wednesday.

The Phillies (78-74) remain 2 1/2 games behind the Atlanta Braves for first place in the National League East and will look to gain more ground when they host the Pittsburgh Pirates on Thursday.

Harper is hitting .314 with 33 homers and 80 RBIs. He leads all of baseball in both slugging percentage (.621) and OPS (1.051).

"I think he's had a complete season," Phillies manager Joe Girardi said. "The average, power, RBIs, walks, on-base, stolen bases, baserunning, defense. I know in Pittsburgh he had an interesting day (in right field), but you take that away and some of the plays that he's made, it's been a complete year. He's done everything that you would ask from a right fielder."

The Phillies struggled against the 104-loss Orioles, but still managed to win two of three to stay in playoff contention.

Philadelphia hasn't reached the postseason since 2011.

"Baseball is never easy," Jean Segura said in a postgame interview on NBC Sports Philadelphia. "We're winning at the end of the day. That's all that matters."

The Phillies will hand the ball to Aaron Nola (8-8, 4.48 ERA). The right-hander is 2-2 with a 3.19 ERA in his five career starts against the Pirates, including a no-decision on July 31 when he allowed two runs and three hits in six innings.

While the Phillies look to be a better team on paper than the Pirates, nothing is guaranteed. Ever.

"We need all of them," J.T. Realmuto said. "This late in the season, where we're at, a few games behind the Braves, we can't afford to lose two or three in a row anymore."

The Pirates (57-94) had an unexpected day off Wednesday when their game against the Cincinnati Reds was postponed due to inclement weather.

Like the Orioles, the Pirates don't have much to play for this season standings-wise. But the players on the field would disagree as they're battling for a spot on the roster in 2022.

Yoshi Tsutsugo has taken advantage of added playing time with some solid at-bats in recent games.

"He continues to have consistent at-bats, consistent swings," Pirates manager Derek Shelton said. "And we feel good having him hit behind (the leadoff man) and in front of Bryan (Reynolds)."

Another example is Cole Tucker, who batted second in Tuesday's 6-2 win over the Reds.

"Those results showed up, but it's an everyday kind of work in progress of trying to find that, find my footing in the cage -- no pun intended," Tucker said. "The work is there. The results are getting there. Just trying to piece it together. Just trying to be productive and make it happen a little bit here down the stretch."

"I think it's just signs of Cole getting better," Shelton added. "It's very rewarding because I know he's doing a lot of hard work in the cage."

Rookie right-hander Connor Overton (0-0, 0.00) is scheduled to start for the Pirates. Overton, who has tossed 11 2/3 scoreless innings while striking out nine this season, has never faced the Phillies.

--Field Level Media

Updated September 23, 2021

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