Phillies v Brewers: Alec Bohm and Matt Vierling hit Josh Hader in Phil’s comeback win

Phillies v Brewers: Alec Bohm and Matt Vierling hit Josh Hader in Phil’s comeback win

MILWAUKEE — To understand what the Phillies did on Tuesday night, you have to go back to July 28 of last year.

It was the last time Josh Hader dropped a run in a regular season game.

The Milwaukee Brewers’ closest All-Star had racked up 40 straight scoreless appearances when he came out of the bullpen to try to protect a one-point lead against the Phillies. One more chicken egg and Hader would set a major league record with 41 consecutive scoreless appearances.

A week ago, when darkness ruled the world of the Phillies, Hader would have achieved that record.

But not right now.

It’s a whole new world for the Phillies. They have a new manager. They hit home runs in the ninth inning, three in the last two games. Corey Knebel releases jams loaded with bases. They win. And the music is blaring around the club so loudly that you can barely hear Alec Bohm talking about the best moment of his major league career.

Bohm was the leadoff batter against Hader in the ninth inning Tuesday night. He threw a solo homer tying play at left center.

Matt Vierling was the third batter against Hader in the inning. He threw a home run to left center.

The two huge homers carried the Phillies to a 3-2 victory – their fourth straight under new skipper Rob Thomson and fifth straight overall – and denied Hader his record 41st goose egg.

“Someone has to have it at some point, right?” Bohm said above screaming loudspeakers in the winning clubhouse. “Why not us, I suppose?”

“Nobody’s perfect in this game. I guess the game will get you eventually and I guess that’s exactly what happened tonight.”

The home run was only the fourth of the season for Bohm, who was hitting .190 in his previous 19 games.

Hader, a hard-throwing southpaw with a deceptive delivery, had had 18 of 18 save chances this season when Bohm headed for the plate with his team on a run top of the ninth. Prior to the fight, Bohm received advice from Nick Castellanos, who had often faced Hader during his time in the NL Central with Cincinnati.

“Nick said to me, ‘Hey, you gotta try to shoot it,'” Bohm said. “It’s not something I normally do. I’m grateful to him.”

Bohm rode a 96.4 mph fastball from Hader and drove it over the wall to left center. The Phillies dugout was still wild when Vierling was sent in to hit Mickey Moniak. Vierling started the season with the Phils but was shipped to the minors a month ago after hitting .170. He was recalled from Triple A with Scott Kingery earlier today when the Phils placed Zack Wheeler on paternity leave and Johan Camargo on the disabled list.

Vierling started the day in Omaha with the Lehigh Valley club. He and Kingery flew to Chicago, rented a car, and arrived at the Milwaukee ballpark around 2 p.m. Eight hours later, Vierling found himself coming off the bench to face one of the nastiest relievers in the game. He hit a 1-2 slider off the wall at left center to give the Phils the lead.

“Just a whirlwind,” Vierling said of her day. “To be able to come back. To take the opportunity and do that – that’s pretty cool.”

Vierling was asked where the circuit ranks on his personal reel.

“It’s probably number one,” he said. “It’s up there. Yeah. Pretty cool.”

After taking the lead, the Phils had to sweat in the bottom of the ninth as Knebel walked three batters to load the bases before pulling out Pablo Reyes to end the game. Knebel threw 32 pitches – 17 strikes and 15 balls.

Connor Brogdon threw a scoreless eighth for the win. Ranger Suarez, inconsistent for much of the season, had his best outing – seven innings, two runs, no walk. It was definitely something to lean on for the southpaw, who had walked 4.1 batters per nine innings in 10 starts before the game.

Suarez’s performance was huge. He kept the game close on a night when the Phils squandered a bunch of early scoring opportunities and gave the offense a chance to come to life in the ninth.

The Phils are undefeated in four games since Thomson replaced Joe Girardi. They’re 26-29 overall and the desperation of a week ago has been replaced with, well, hope.

Should Thomson pinch himself a bit?

“Yeah, I mean they played really well and it was exciting,” he said. “They’re doing what they have to do. We think they’re a good club and the pieces are there to win games. We just didn’t play consistently at the start and maybe we’re on a started here.”

Aaron Nola will be looking to keep the momentum going on Wednesday night.

“Everyone is coming together,” Bohm said. “With all the talent we have, it’s hard to say that the luck we had wasn’t going to turn around. We just kept going, kept working, put our heads down and kept fighting. And now we see a small reward We chained a few victories.

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