Schwarber hits walk-off homer, Phillies defeat Dodgers, 5-4

Home runs from Freddie Freeman and Mookie Betts were not enough on Friday night as Kyle Schwarber hit a walk-off home run to give the Phillies a 5-4 win over the Dodgers.

The Dodgers entered Friday with an interesting strategy, using relief pitcher Victor González as their opening pitcher versus the Phillies. The role of an opening pitcher has become slightly more common over the past few seasons, and the Dodgers were the latest team to test out the strategy on Friday evening. González was able to open the game and get the first 2 outs before being replaced by pitcher Michael Grove, who typically provides the Dodgers with more length when he pitches. Grove would ultimately have the Dodgers down 4-1 after RBI hits from Bryce Harper, Nick Castellanos, and Trea Turner. A wild pitch also brought in another run for Philadelphia. Los Angeles used the top of the seventh inning to play comeback and used back-to-back blasts from Mookie Betts and Freddie freeman to even the score. It would only be a matter of time before known slugger Kyle Schwarber would demolish a walk-off solo homer to give the Phillies a dramatic victory.

Here are three takeaways from the game:

Phillies use walk-off magic on consecutive days

The Dodgers are not the only team in the last 2 days to take a loss at the hands of a walk-off hit from the Phillies. Yesterday, it was Kody Clemens who hit a game-winning single into right field to hand the Detroit Tigers a 3-2 loss. Schwarber’s home run marked two consecutive days with walk-off victories for the Phillies, who have gotten off to a hot start in June. They’ve won six in a row, and sit in third place in the NL East. More specifically, June has historically been the month for Kyle Schwarber in which he has performed the best throughout his career. Since the calendar turned into June, Schwarber has increased his batting splits from .171/.321/.419 to .222/.344/.593, following his notorious trend of improving stats in the month of June. The Phillies will continue to rely on his month-long magic going forward as they look to remain hot and make a push for the second-place spot in their division, which is currently held by the Miami Marlins.

Schwarber’s walk-off shot to right field

Mookie, Freddie provide the only offense

On a night in which the Dodger bullpen could not hang in long enough to help secure a victory, the Dodgers’ two stars on offense were able to provide some clutch hitting. Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman, hitting in the 1 and 2 spots of the lineup, stepped up to the plate in the top of the seventh inning with the Dodgers down 4-1. First, it was Betts who smacked a 2-run homer to left field and made it a 4-3 game. Next, Freeman would step up and even the score at 4-4 with a solo home to center field. For Betts, it was his 17th homer of the season, while Freeman launched his 12th.

While the two Dodger stars combined for 4/7 Dodger hits in the game, neither were able to come up with a clutch moment in the top of the ninth against Philly reliever Gregory Soto. Soto induced a flyout from Betts and a strikeout from Freeman, which kept the game tied just long enough for Kyle Scwharber to end it. The two will look to keep their bats warm tomorrow as the Dodgers look to even the series.

Grove struggles again, Dodgers have pitching issues

One area in which the Dodgers have completely struggled to find consistency is their starting pitching rotation. It seems as if every week there is something that goes wrong or gets changed up on them. The latest victim to the injured list for the Dodgers was Noah Syndergaard, who hit the IL with a blister. While Syndergaard was not exactly a bright spot in the rotation, his injury speaks on the type of year its been so far for the pitching rotation in Los Angeles.

Things have not gone well for Noah Syndergaard in his Dodgers tenure so far

With starting pitcher Michael Grove coming in as the second pitcher of the game for the Dodgers on Friday instead of the first, perhaps they believed that this change in rhythm would help with his success rate against Philadelphia. In the end, Grove once again had a rough outing, pitching 4 innings and allowing 4 earned runs. He allowed every single hit the Phillies gathered in the game except for Kyle Schwarber’s game winner in the ninth. He was also only able to strike out 2 batters, and his ERA now stands at 8.28. Unfortunately for the Dodgers, Grove is going to have to keep pitching and attempt to figure things out for himself until the team is able to gather some form of health and consistency from their starters.

The Dodgers will look to get things back on track tomorrow and pick up a win in the second game of the series, as a loss would guarantee their third dropped series in a row.

The game is scheduled to begin at 1:05 PST.