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Max Muncy blunder opens door to Phillies walk-off win over Dodgers

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Roman Quinn of the Philadelphia Phillies, second from left, celebrates with teammates.
Roman Quinn of Philadelphia (bottom center) celebrates with teammates on a 10-inning win streak over the Dodgers 4-3 Sunday. (Chris Sagola/Associated Press)

The performance seemed to be unfolding almost in slow motion.

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Jumping earthling. High jump. Ball potted by a second baseman Max Munseyrolling helplessly away from him into a bright, sunny—and suddenly terrible—Philadelphia day.

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a game Dodgers was supposed to win on Sunday against the Phillies, instead everything fell apart at once, and Muncie’s mistake on the field led to two runs and absenteeism 4-3 win for the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park.

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Clinging to a one-run lead with Phillies runners in second and third in the bottom of the 10th inning, the Dodgers were one step away from winning when Alec Bohm sent a softly padded Muncie helicopter.

Mansi took a few steps, stood up and seemed to be in a good position for what seemed to be a routine game.

But the latest bounce was higher than he expected. He raised his glove, but was unable to stop the ball, which seeped through his legs.

“That’s what you know as an infielder, as time goes on the pitch gets harder and the ball will bounce more and make some fun jumps,” Munsey said. “I just didn’t give myself enough space.”

As the ball rolled slowly behind him, Phillies baseball runner Garrett Stubbs hit easily from third place to equalize.

The real problem for the Dodgers was Roman Quinna quick Phillies outfielder who hit second base early in the game.

As Munsey frantically tried to get the ball back, Quinn flew around third base on the run. Mansi made a good throw home from the middle of the infield. But Quinn rolled upside down just in time. The tag from Seeker Austin Barnes was confirmed by video review moments later to be a fraction of a second too late.

“An unfavorable circumstance,” Muncie said. “I just couldn’t find the ball.”

The game ended what was already a wild game in the weekend series finale.

The Dodgers (27-13) took a 2-0 lead in solo home runs from Mookie Betts and Edwin Rios. They also got off to an impressive start with six innings and seven strikeouts from the right-hander. Tony Gonsolinwho didn’t concede until Stubbs hit a solo home run in the sixth.

It was Gonsolin’s second straight six-inning start, the first of his MLB career, and he dropped his team-best ERA to 1.62.

“Tony was really good, his whole pitch mix was good.” manager Dave Roberts said. “We needed length today and he gave it to us.”

The Dodgers needed length because their pitchers were used up after winning Saturday, when it took eight different pitchers in a bullpen game.

Dodgers starting pitcher Tony Gonsolin pitches in Sunday's second inning.
Dodgers starting pitcher Tony Gonsolin pitches in Sunday’s second inning. Gonsolin provided the Dodgers with six quality innings against the Phillies. (Chris Sagola/Associated Press)

The short-handed bullpen came close to putting the game on Sunday. Lefty Alex Vesia held the Phillies’ heart order in the seventh. Fellow left-hander Justin Bruihl created a jam in the eighth, but right-hander Yancy Almonte avoided it, causing the team’s third double play of the day.

Almonte returned to the mound in the ninth and got two quick strikeouts. But then the Phillies (19-22) rallied to extend the game.

Nick Castellanos did a double belt on a suspended slider. Roberts decided to intentionally beat southpaw slugger Kyle Schwarber to hit Gene Segura with a right hand.

Segura didn’t wait long to equalize, putting in the first lead from the left to make it 2-2.

“This is a situation where I’d rather see Schwarber throw at Segura,” Roberts said. “He beat us. This is baseball.”

However, the Dodgers took the top ten on Trea Turner’s RBI single. And although they blew an insurance opportunity by leaving the bases loaded, Justin Turner played a key role in the bottom half of the half, faking baserunner J.T. Realmuto at third base, pretending to hit the screen.

Realmuto took a step forward. Justin Turner, who had the ball in his glove all along, applied the tag for the decisive first out.

“It was a big breakthrough,” Roberts said. “I thought that would make a difference in the game.”

Instead, it was his own team’s mistake that decided the fight: Munsey crouched down and grabbed his bowed head as the Phillies celebrated their E4 entrance, ending the Dodgers’ season-best seven-game winning streak.

“It’s one of those things where I go out there every day and try to at least throw something in the bucket, try to do my best to help the team win,” said Munsey, who continued his early season failures. Sunday by selecting 0 out of 4 on the plate. “Unfortunately, today I took something out of him. I didn’t help the team. It’s my fault and I have to admit it.”

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.


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