Milwaukee – To understand what the Phillies did on Tuesday night, you have to go back to July 28 of last year.
That was the last time Josh Hader gave up a tour in a regular season game.
The Milwaukee Brewers’ closest All-Star made 40 straight appearances when he ran out of base game in an effort to protect his one-game lead against the Phillies. Another goose egg that will roar a league record with 41 consecutive goalless games.
A week ago, when darkness took over the world of Feliz, Roar had taken that record.
But not now.
It’s a whole new world for Phillies. They have a new manager. They score in the ninth inning at home, three in their last two games. Corey Nebel comes out of the rule-laden crises. They win. And the music is so loud at the club that you can hardly hear Alec Bom talking about perhaps the best moment of his Major League career.
Boom was the first hitter that Roar faced in the ninth inning on Tuesday night. Launch Homer’s peg solo to the left of center.
Matt Ferling was the third hitter Hader faced in the inning. The green light was fired, and Homer was hit with a pinch to the left of center.
The two massive hooters lifted the Phillies to a 3-2 win – their fourth in a row under new captain Rob Thompson and fifth in a row – and Harama Roar’s record-breaking 41 goose egg.
“Someone should have it at some point, right?” Boom said above the loudspeakers at the winning club. “Why don’t we, I think?
“No one is perfect in this game. I think the game will eventually understand you and I think that’s what happened tonight.”
The home run was only the fourth of the season for Bohm, who has scored 0.10 in his previous 19 games.
Hader, a left-winger who’s been shooting hard with a bluffing delivery, has been 18-for-18 in fending off chances this season when Pom took the lead with his side in one game at the top of the ninth. Before bat time, Baum took some advice from Nick Castellanos, who encountered Hader frequently during his time at NL Central with Cincinnati.
“Hey, ‘Hey, you have to try to pull it off,'” Bohm said. “It’s not something I normally do. I’m grateful for it.”
Bohm got a 96.4 mph fastball from Hader and drove it over the wall in the left center. Velez’s lair was still turning frenzy when Vierling was sent to discus Mickey Monac. Vierling opened the season with Phils but shipped to the Palace a month ago after hitting 0.170. He was called up from Triple A with Scott Kingery earlier in the day when he put Phils Zack Wheeler on paternity leave and Johan Camargo on the injured list.
Ferling started the day in Omaha with Lehigh Valley Club. He and Kingery traveled to Chicago, rented a car and hit the field in Milwaukee at about 2 p.m. Eight hours later, Ferling found himself off the bench to confront one of the game’s most ferocious tranquilizers. He hit a 1-2 slider over the wall in the center left to give Phils the lead.
“Just a whirlwind,” Ferling said of his era. “Go back. Getting the chance and doing it – it’s amazing.”
Vierling was asked where Homer ranks on his personal shader reel.
“It might be number one,” he said. “It’s there. Yeah. It’s great.”
Having taken the lead, Phils had to sweat at the bottom of the ninth as Knebel walked three men to load the bases before hitting Pablo Reyes to finish the match. Kneebel threw 32 shots – 17 hits and 15 balls.
Conor Brogdon provided a goalless eighth goal to win. Ranger Suarez, inconsistent for most of the season, was his best — seven rounds, two rounds, no outings. It was definitely something to build on for the left-hander, who hit 4.1 hitters per nine runs in his 10 entry-level starts.
Suarez’s performance was phenomenal. He kept the match close one night when Phils missed a bunch of early scoring opportunities and gave the attack a chance to survive in the ninth.
Phils are unbeaten in four matches since Thompson took charge of Joe Girardi. They are 26-29 overall and the despair that existed a week ago has been replaced by, well, hope.
Should Thompson pinch himself a bit?
“Yeah, I mean, they played great and it was exciting,” he said. “They do what they need to do. We think this is a good club and the pieces are here to win games. We didn’t play consistently early and maybe move here.”
Aaron Nola will be looking to keep the list going on Wednesday night.
“Everyone kind of unites,” Bohm said. “With all the talent we have, it’s hard to say our luck wasn’t going to change. We kept it up, we kept working, we put our heads down and we kept fighting. Now we see a little bit of a reward from it. We’re getting some victories together.”
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