2019 Postgame Recaps

Bryce Harper, Phillies bats explode in win over Cardinals


Bryce Harper hit a home run in Wednesday’s game against the Cardinals. (Ian D’Andrea)

For the second time this season, the Philadelphia Phillies have won a series over the St. Louis Cardinals. And for the second time, it’s thanks in part to Bryce Harper and Aaron Nola.

Cardinals starter Genesis Cabrera was making his major league debut Wednesday, after posting a 6.35 ERA in nine games (seven of which were starts) at Triple-A. After an hour and 44 minute rain delay, the Phillies didn’t waste time getting after the 22-year-old.

With Andrew McCutchen and Bryce Harper already on base, Rhys Hoskins flew out to right field, which Cardinals right fielder Dexter Fowler misplayed, allowing the ball to drop:

That proved to be crucial, as J.T. Realmuto struck out immediately after Hoskins reached base, joining Jean Segura as the second strikeout victim of the inning. Had Hoskins’ fly ball been put away, the inning would have been over. Instead, All-Star candidate Cesar Hernandez stepped to the plate and put the Phillies on the board with a two-run opposite-field single into right field, plating McCutchen and Harper.

One of the drawbacks of Hernandez’s game is that despite strong speed, he doesn’t have great baserunning instincts. After his RBI single, he took an aggressive turn around first base, before getting caught in a rundown. Ultimately, the Cardinals threw out Hoskins, who was on third base, making sure he didn’t score before Hernandez was run down.

After working out of a bit of a jam in the second inning, Nola essentially had to record five outs in the top of the third. The first out was simple enough, as Fowler grounded out to Jean Segura. Six-time All-Star Paul Goldschmidt saw four pitches that appeared to be in the strike zone, but home plate umpire Tim Timmons didn’t see it that way, and Goldschmidt walked instead. (Someone from the Phillies dugout yelled “Strike four” after the pitch that Timmons ultimately called ball four.) Nola then induced an easy double play ball off the bat of Paul DeJong, but as Hernandez tried to turn the double play, he instead didn’t get a grip on what may have been a wet ball, and fired it into the Phillies dugout. Luckily for the Phillies, Nola escaped the inning unscathed, getting Marcell Ozuna to ground-out to end the inning.

Nola was rewarded for navigating through a stressful top of the third when Bryce Harper launched a two-run home run in the bottom of the third inning on a breaking pitch, giving the Phillies a 4-0 lead :

The Cardinals did get on the board in the top of the fourth inning, with Matt Wieters, playing for a banged-up Yadier Molina, hitting his second home run in as many games against Nola in 2019:

The strange thing about Wieters hitting a second home run against the Phillies is that the first time he did so, on May 7, the Phillies defeated the Cardinals 11-1. By the end of the fifth inning Wednesday, they again led the Cardinals by a score of 11-1.

In the bottom of the fifth inning, the Phillies scored five runs, with Scott Kingery, Maikel Franco and Andrew McCutchen each hitting home runs. Kingery and Franco went back-to-back, while both Kingery and McCutchen hit home runs of the two-run variety:

Wieters and the Cardinals would add three more runs off of Juan Nicasio in the eighth inning, but ultimately J.D. Hammer, in his Citizens Bank Park debut, was able to wrap things up with a one-two-three ninth inning.

With the 11-4 win, the Phillies have moved to 33-22 on the season, putting the three-and-a-half games above the Atlanta Braves, who were trounced by the Washington Nationals 14-4 Wednesday.

In their powder blue jerseys, the Phillies will look to sweep the Cardinals tomorrow afternoon before heading to the West Coast this weekend.

Shibe Vintage Sports Starting Pitching Performance

Last week in Chicago, the Phillies handed Aaron Nola a 7-0 lead, figuring he could probably cruise through at least seven innings and give the Phillies bullpen some rest near the end of a stretch of 17 games in 17 days. Instead, Nola struggled with his command after the third inning, and Phillies manager Gabe Kapler, rather controversially, pulled him after just 5.1 innings of three-run ball.

Wednesday night, there wasn’t a quick trigger on Nola, because he was excellent.

In seven innings, Nola struck out eight Cardinals, while allowing just four hits and one run. After posting a 6.66 ERA in April, Nola finished May with a 4-0 record and a 2.73 ERA in 33 innings.

Nola has made two starts against the Cardinals this season, and he’s allowed just two runs in 13 innings.

Phillies Nuggets Player of the Game: Bryce Harper

Bryce Harper only played five innings Wednesday, but he made them count.

Harper singled in the first inning, hit his 10th home run in the third inning and legged out the 200th double of his career in the fourth inning. Heck, even the fly-out that Harper had in the fifth inning was scorched off-the-bat. In total, Harper went 3-4 with four RBIs Wednesday night, raising hims batting average to .243 on the season. (He did leave the game after fouling a ball off of his foot in the fifth inning, though that likely was just precautionary with the game already in hand.)

As a Washington National, Harper had tremendous success hitting at Citizens Bank Park. In his last five games at his new home stadium, Harper is 10-20 with three home runs with 12 RBIs.

Meanwhile, Harper has had quite a bit of success in five games against the Cardinals in 2019. His grand slam on May 7 highlights a 7-18 stretch against the Cardinals with five extra-base hits.

Next Game

  • Thursday May 30, 2019 vs. St. Louis Cardinals at Citizens Bank Park
  • 1:05 p.m. ET
  • NBC Sports Philadelphia, MLB Network (out of market)
  • SportsRadio 94 WIP

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