Nick the Slick: Phillies 4, Orioles 1

The rain didn’t hinder Nick Pivetta who struck out 11 Orioles hitters in a dominating effort

After Tuesday night’s game was (eventually) rained out, the thought was that the Orioles would be determined to play on Wednesday no matter how much precipitation was in the air. Thankfully, the rain mostly held off, and thanks to a stellar effort by the Orioles’ ground crew, the game was played without delay. Even better for the Phillies fans who ventured down I-95 to watch the action, the Phillies not only won, but they did so in relatively quick fashion.

Here are the highlights:

Nick Pivetta: Strikeout Machine

Pivetta’s disastrous one-inning start against the Nationals seems like a distant memory. Maybe it was the wet conditions, or maybe the extra day of rest agreed with him. Regardless of the cause, he had little trouble with the Orioles and mowed through their lineup with ease.

The only blemish on his day was Adam Jones’ first inning home run. He only allowed one more hit after that while racking up 11 strikeouts. This was easily Pivetta’s best start of the season, and was one of the best starts of his career.

Cesar Busts Out of a Mini-Slump

Cesar Hernandez has quietly been in a small slump over the past couple weeks, so it was nice to see him contribute to this win. His sixth inning home run tied the game, and he added a triple and scored another run in the 7th.

Phillies Face Down Their Future, Come Out On Top

After Pivetta left the game, the Phillies’ relievers added some drama in the eighth inning. Tommy Hunter allowed two hits, and then Luis Garcia loaded the bases with a walk. With two outs, the go-ahead run was at the plate in the form of future Phillie pending free agent Manny Machado.

Needless to say, not everyone was feeling confident:

Naturally, Garcia came through and got Machado on a fielder’s choice. I guess Manny’s just saving his clutch hits for next season.

Did Odubel Extend His Streak?

Yes. He singled in the first inning, extending the streak to 42 games.

Hector Neris: “Closer”

The Phillies have now had two save opportunities since Hector Neris’ meltdown against the Mets, and both times, Gabe Kapler has called for Edubray Ramos to start the ninth inning. Ramos recorded the first two outs with ease, and then a curious thing happened: Kapler emerged from the dugout.

In a move apparently designed to rebuild Neris’ confidence, Kapler brought in his embattled closer to face Chris Davis and (hopefully) record the final out. While Neris did indeed get the out, this isn’t a good sign for anyone who wanted to see Ramos (or more likely Seranthony Dominguez) installed as the new closer. It’s also a sign that despite his troubles, Kapler thinks Neris can still be an effective reliever, and is doing whatever he can to get him back to that point.

A Good Old-Fashioned One-Game Sweep

Does it count as a sweep if it’s only a one-game series? Either way, with the one-game series behind them, the Phillies will travel to Saint Louis and (presumably) sunnier weather. Hopefully when the Phillies return to Baltimore in July to make up Tuesday’s game, there will be slightly less rain in the forecast.

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