2019 Postgame Recaps

Despite 5 hits from Cain, Phillies come back to beat Brewers

Lorenzo Cain had one of the best games of his career Monday. (Ian D’Andrea)

Final: Phillies 7, Brewers 4

The Philadelphia Phillies only got three innings from Aaron Nola Monday, surrendered five hits to Lorenzo Cain and got themselves into multiple two-run deficits. And yet, Monday may have turned out to be their best win of the 2019 season thus far.

Throughout the course of his young career, the book on Aaron Nola has been that if you’re going to get to him, you need to do so in the first inning. The Brewers did that Monday, with reigning National League MVP Christian Yelich following up a leadoff double from Cain by plating Cain with a double of his own:

Brewers catcher Yasmani Grandal did Yelich one better two batters later, when he drove him in with an RBI triple. It was part of a two-run first inning for the Brewers, which forced Nola to exhaust 38 pitches.

The Phillies got off to a strong start of their own in the top of the first, with Andrew McCutchen and Jean Segura hitting consecutive opposite-field singles. Unlike the Brewers, though, the Phillies weren’t able to push any runs across, with a Rhys Hoskins infield fly-out sandwiched in between strikeouts from Bryce Harper and J.T. Realmuto.

Fortunately for the Phillies, it didn’t take them long to get another offensive opportunity off of Brewers starter Freddy Peralta. A day after the Phillies wrapped up a series in an American League park with the DH, Aaron Nola came up to the plate with Cesar Hernandez on third base and Maikel Franco on second base. Rather than making the case for a universal DH, Nola grounded out to shortstop, allowing Hernandez to score. However, Brewers first baseman Eric Thames dropped the throw from shortstop Orlando Arcia, allowing Nola to reach first base safely and Franco to score to tie the game:

If you blinked, you may have missed the point where the game was tied, though. Mike Moustakas – rumored to be a potential Phillies target on multiple occasions – led off the top of the third inning with a 412-foot home run that landed in the second deck in right field:

After a Cain double gave the Brewers a 4-2 lead in the top of the fourth inning, the Brewers had a chance to put the game out of reach in the top of the fifth inning. But after Juan Nicasio loaded up the bases, Jose Alvarez was able to get Yelich to fly out to left field to end the inning, leaving the bases loaded.

The Phillies capitalized after the Brewers failed to put them away, as Cesar Hernandez followed up a two-out walk from J.T. Realmuto by hitting a towering 390-foot home run to tie the game:

Alvarez would return to pitch a scoreless sixth inning, before Seranthony Dominguez and Adam Morgan combined to keep the Brewers off the board in the top of the seventh. It would be remiss not to point out that a Harper diving catch kept the Brewers from scoring in the inning:

Jean Segura struck out to start the bottom of the seventh, but ultimately reached first base on what was scored a wild pitch. That would prove to be the turning point of the game, because Harper lined out to center field and Rhys Hoskins struck out looking after Segura’s at-bats, which should have ended the inning. Instead, Segura stole second and was driven in by J.T. Realmuto on an RBI double.

With Realmuto on second and Hernandez on first after a walk, Odubel Herrera added two insurance runs with an opposite-field RBI double that scored both.

After a clean eighth inning from Morgan, Pat Neshek came on and closed out a 7-4 win in the ninth inning. Fittingly, Cain, with a chance to go 6-6, grounded out to end the game.

Shibe Vintage Sports Starting Pitching Performance

Aaron Nola entered the evening having allowed just three runs in his last three starts, including just one over six innings in his most recent start against the St. Louis Cardinals. There was some thought that after a rather disastrous month of April, Nola had turned a corner.

Monday, he reverted back to the form that saw him post a 6.66 ERA in April.

The Brewers are one of the National League’s most talented rosters, but Nola was also one of the sport’s best pitchers a season ago. Monday evening, however, the Brewers knocked Nola out of the game after only three innings, with four of the five hits they tallied against him of the extra-base variety.

Phillies Nuggets Player of the Game: Lorenzo Cain

If there’s a more underappreciated position player than Lorenzo Cain this decade, it’s hard to think of exactly who that is. Cain, 33, was the ALCS MVP with the Kansas City Royals in 2014, before helping the Royals to win the World Series title in 2015. Cain, who the Brewers inked to a five-year/$80 million deal ahead of the 2018 season, made his second career All-Star appearance a year ago. Tonight, the Brewers weren’t able to win, but it certainly wasn’t because of Cain.

Cain went 5-6, including driving in a run in the fourth inning. Even if the Brewers weren’t able to win the game, it would be rather ridiculous to not award a player with five hits in a game the player of the game.

Next Game

  • April 14, 2019 at Citizens Bank Park
  • 7:05 p.m. ET
  • NBC Sports Philadelphia
  • SportsRadio 94 WIP

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