Vince Velasquez on Sunday made his best start since the very first time he pitched on the Citizens Bank Park mound, and though the bullpen blew his lead, the Phillies recovered to win 2-1 on a walk-off.
The Phillies loaded the bases in the bottom of the ninth with no outs on an Andrew Knapp double, Ty Kelly walk and Cesar Hernandez bunt single. On the second pitch Freddy Galvis saw, he delivered a game-winning single to right field.
It's the Phillies' second straight walk-off win over the Braves and fourth straight win overall.
The Phillies are 6-3 on their 10-game homestand, which wraps up tomorrow afternoon.
Starting pitching report
Velasquez showed the Phillies something on this afternoon. He pitched seven scoreless innings for the second time in his career, with the only other occurrence being his 16-strikeout shutout of the Padres last April.
Velasquez was helped a great deal by his defense (more on that later), but the final two outs were all him. With runners on second and third and one out in a one-run game, Velasquez struck out Johan Camargo and Sean Rodriguez to end the seventh.
The strikeout of Camargo came on a 95.5 mph fastball, Velasquez's fastest pitch of the day. He whiffed Rodriguez on a full-count slider that didn't break much but was good enough against an aggressive hitter.
Velasquez's final line: 7 innings, 6 hits, 0 runs, 2 walks, 6 strikeouts on a season-high 108 pitches (73 strikes).
Knuckleballer R.A. Dickey pitched very well for the Braves, allowing just the unearned run over seven innings. He struck out eight and didn't allow an extra-base hit.
Dickey and catcher Kurt Suzuki did, however, combine for five wild pitches and two passed balls.
In two starts against the Phillies this season, Dickey has allowed one earned run in 14 innings with 16 strikeouts.
Luis Garcia's scoreless innings streak ended in the eighth inning at 21⅔ — the longest by a Phillies reliever since Larry Andersen's streak of 32⅔ scoreless innings in 1984.
Hector Neris pitched a scoreless ninth and earned the win.
At the plate
Odubel Herrera and Galvis each had multi-hit games for the Phillies. Both of Herrera's hits were bunt singles, his first two of the season.
Herrera has hit .390 with a .435 on-base percentage over his last 22 games. But he's been hot for much longer than that, hitting .340 over his last 201 plate appearances.
Galvis went 3 for 5.
Knapp had the only extra-base hit for either team.
In the field
Galvis made remarkable defensive plays in the both first and second innings to aid Velasquez.
Galvis saved at least one run and potentially more in the first. With two outs and men on first and second, Nick Markakis hit a ball in between shortstop and third base. Galvis ranged to his right, extended his glove and was able to field it on a hop in the hole. Ender Inciarte, thinking there was no way Galvis could have reached the ball, rounded third base and kept on running. Galvis threw him out at the plate pretty easily.
In the second inning, Galvis made a diving stop up the middle and in one motion, spun and flipped to Hernandez to start a double play.
In the fifth, Galvis started another double play on a softly hit grounder by Sean Rodriguez, who can run. The only way it would have been a double play is if Galvis did exactly what he did: charge it and flip it from his glove to Hernandez.
With apologies to Brandon Crawford, the Gold Glove this season should belong to Galvis.
On the bases
In the sixth inning, Herrera advanced to third on a wild pitch and the call was upheld by replay review. On the next pitch, however, he was thrown out at the plate attempting to score on another pitch that got past Suzuki.
The Phillies' four-game, wraparound series with the Braves ends tomorrow afternoon at 12:35. The Phils and Braves have the majors' only day game tomorrow ahead of the 4 p.m. trade deadline.
Nick Pivetta (3-6, 5.73) faces Mike Foltynewicz (9-5, 3.82).