Things did not get off to a great start on Thursday night in Los Angeles. With the Dodgers facing elimination and throwing a bullpen game, Freddie Freeman’s early 2-run shot took the air out of Chavez Ravine.
Dodgers reliever Joe Kelly had to come out of the game shortly after that with an issue in his biceps. That made things seemingly very difficult for Dave Roberts in his bullpen on a night when they need every inning they could get out of their arms.
But Evan Phillips came out after Kelly went down with an injury and flat-out shoved. He tossed 1.1 perfect innings against the powerhouse Braves offense and struck out 3 in the process. After the game, Doc took the time to recognize Phillips and what he did for the team in the big win.
There’s just something about his calm…To call on him in that spot, I wasn’t worried. It’s just not how we expected it to play out. But in baseball, you’ve got to be able to read and react and Evan stepped up and made us all look good.
The Dodgers scooped up Phillips back in August on waivers from the Tampa Bay Rays. He pitched in just 7 regular-season games with the big league squad. But his addition to the NLCS roster made it so that Doc had another fresh arm ready to go.
And now just 2 months after the Rays let him walk, here he is pitching huge innings for the Dodgers in the Championship Series. It’s really quite an amazing story.
Next up, the Dodgers travel to Atlanta to play in Game 6 of the NLCS. Max Scherzer is getting the ball in the start to face off against Atlanta RHP Ian Anderson in that one.