What we expected: Phillies 6, Pirates 1

When the 2019 Phillies season began, we expected a lot of nights like this. The starting pitcher delivered a quality start, and the bullpen was able to preserve the lead. Offensively, Bryce Harper had a key RBI, and the Phillies’ relentless lineup wore down the opposing pitching staff. Most games in 2019 haven’t followed that script, but on Friday night, everything went according to plan, and the Phillies came away with a 6-1 win over the Pirates.

Jake Arrieta made his second start since revealing that he was dealing with bone spurs in his elbow, and once again, he pitched effectively, if not deep into the game. The Pirates scored a solo run in the second, but that was all they could manage. When the Pirates loaded the bases in the sixth, Arrieta was removed, but Juan Nicasio was able to escape the jam.

The Phillies’ offense was quiet in the early going, with the only run provided by Adam Haseley’s second home run in as many days.

In the seventh, Bryce Harper continued to deliver with runners in scoring position, when his RBI single gave the Phillies a 2-1 lead. The following inning, Jean Segura tacked on a much-needed insurance run when his infield single capped perhaps the best at bat of the season.

The Phillies added three insurance runs in the ninth, and that was more than enough for a refreshingly effective Cole Irvin. Irvin pitched a scoreless eighth and ninth, and the Phillies came away with an encouraging victory.

The 2019 season hasn’t gone the way we hoped, but for one night at least, the Phillies’ plan came together, and they came away with a win.

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