Alec Bohm hits go-ahead sac fly for Phillies –


Todd Zolecki
ST. LOUIS — Rhys Hoskins has been chasing that October feeling for years.
He believes Saturday will prepare the Phillies for the grind ahead and any of those intense, anxious and awesome moments that come if they get there. The Phillies beat the Cardinals on Saturday afternoon at Busch Stadium, 1-0. Everything happened in the ninth inning to give the game a postseason feel, from manufacturing the game’s only run in the top half to finding their way into and out of a major jam in the bottom half.
“Those types of innings, those types of situations, especially on the road, probably is our best chance to feel that before we get there,” Hoskins said.
Philadelphia (46-39) is a season-high seven games over .500. It is two games ahead of St. Louis for the third NL Wild Card.
“It felt like playoff baseball a little bit, I guess,” Alec Bohm said. “I’ve never experienced it, but it’s kind of what you could imagine.”
The Phillies and Cardinals carried a scoreless tie into the ninth, thanks to seven scoreless innings from Kyle Gibson.
Darick Hall got things going. He joined the team last week because Philadelphia needed thump in the lineup without Bryce Harper and Jean Segura. He wanted to get on base so he actually talked with hitting coach Kevin Long about bunting a ball up the third-base line.
He bunted foul.
Hall adjusted. He crushed the next pitch to right-center field for a double. Pinch-runner Mickey Moniak advanced to third on Didi Gregorius’ bunt single up the first-base line.
“We hadn’t done much the whole game,” Gregorius said. “I haven’t done much anyway. So, I was like, ‘I’ve got to do something for the team.’ I bunted foul to third the first time and I saw they didn’t move. I’m like, ‘I’ll just take it with me.’”
Bohm followed with a sacrifice fly to give the Phillies the lead. Bohm homered twice in Friday’s 2-0 victory. He has knocked in the only three runs in the series.
Corey Knebel started the ninth with Seranthony Domínguez unavailable and left-hander Brad Hand not expected to face right-handed hitters Paul Goldschmidt and Arenado. Knebel walked Juan Yepez on five pitches, although two of the balls probably should have been strikes. Goldschmidt hit a chopper to Bohm. He fielded the ball cleanly but he threw on the run, and the ball sailed into right field to put runners at the corners.
“I made a pretty crucial mistake,” Bohm said. “But that’s what this team does. We pick each other up.”
Knebel and Arenado locked up in a nine-pitch at-bat. It was 3-2 when Arenado struck out looking on a curveball.
Knebel and Philadelphia catcher Garrett Stubbs noticed something earlier that they tried to exploit. Arenado grounded out on a curveball in the dirt from Gibson in the fourth. He fouled off another curveball in the dirt from Knebel.
“I’ve been keeping the curveball for a ball this whole time,” Knebel said. “I’ll just throw it for a strike. After I threw a fastball up by his face and then was living with the fastball up, I think Stubbs and I were on the same page right there. I was thinking curveball. He put it down. Let’s go.”
Goldschmidt stole second on the play to put runners on second and third. Dylan Carlson grounded a 0-1 fastball between the mound and first base. Knebel got a couple steps off the mound, then stopped and ducked. He expected Yepez to run home and did not want to interfere with Hoskins’ throw to the plate.
“I just hit the deck,” Knebel said.
But Yepez never ran, which surprised everybody on the Phillies. Hoskins looked back Yepez at third, then turned to first. He could not beat Carlson to the bag. Fortunately, Bryson Stott was on his way. He shouted at Hoskins a couple times and got to first in time to take the throw.
“I was going for the ball at first,” Stott said. “Once I saw Rhys had it, I looked at the runner. I saw Corey just there. That’s when I knew I should get to first base because nobody else was going. I let Rhys know that I was there so he didn’t have to get into a footrace.”
“I’m glad he was paying attention because I wasn’t there,” Knebel said.
Two outs.
Knebel thanked Stott in the dugout afterward for making a game-saving play.
Corey Dickerson flied out to right to end the game.
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“We know we can score runs, we know we can pitch,” Bohm said. “But to win a game like that where it’s 0-0, you’re grinding, both pitchers have their stuff working, it’s cool to see our bullpen come in and shut games down. It’s a big confidence boost. As a baseball fan, you see something like that happen and you’ve seen the movie before. You kind of see where it’s heading. But Corey was able to come up big. … It was fun to play like that with that confidence.”


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