- ESPN baseball reporter. Covered the L.A. Rams for ESPN from 2016 to 2018 and the L.A. Angels for MLB.com from 2012 to 2016.
Putting the ball in play can often lead to good things, regardless of the quality of contact.
The Philadelphia Phillies showed that in the second inning of Game 2 of the National League Championship Series on Wednesday, when they scored four runs on balls that either weren’t hit hard or should’ve been handled.
There was a double on a fly ball that San Diego Padres right fielder Juan Soto lost in the sun. And an RBI groundout on a ball that first baseman Brandon Drury didn’t field cleanly enough to either record the out at home or begin an inning-ending double play. And four singles, none of which traveled more than 85 mph.
Two of the batted balls — Matt Vierling’s fly ball to Soto and Edmundo Sosa’s flare to left field, which fell directly in front of Jurickson Profar — carried catch probabilities of at least 95%. It didn’t matter. The Phillies, who entered 5-0 when scoring first in these playoffs, had an early four-run lead andforced Blake Snell to navigate a 37-pitch inning.
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