As the Philadelphia Phillies enter mid-August, they find themselves staring up at four teams in the National League Wild Card race. It was clear a motivational victory was needed after Philadelphia’s previous series loss to the San Francisco Giants and the firing of hitting coach John Mallee Tuesday. They got just that Monday night with a 4-2 win over the National League Central-leading Chicago Cubs. Jason Vargas was able to lead the way with a quality start.
In their first game without John Mallee as their hitting coach, the Phillies’ offense struggled. Philadelphia managed to get two runners on in the first, but all three of the outs came in the form of strikeouts. In the bottom of the second, hits by Roman Quinn and Cesar Hernandez (in addition to a successful but by Vargas) gave the Phillies runners on third and second with two outs, but Bryce Harper grounded out to second to end the inning.
Finally, the first scoring of the game came in the bottom of the third. With one out, J.T. Realmuto hit a fly ball which was dropped by Ian Happ, allowing him to reach first. Realmuto than advanced to third on a single by Jean Segura. Scott Kingery swung on the first pitch, hitting a deep fly ball to left field, allowing Realmuto to score on the sacrifice fly:
1-0, us! pic.twitter.com/oprmLuq9D9
— Philadelphia Phillies (@Phillies) August 14, 2019
However, it wasn’t all good news in the third inning. Corey Dickerson exited the game with a hand injury, with Sean Rodriguez coming in to take his place. Depending on how serious the injury is, it could be a major blow to the team that has already struggled with numerous injuries this season.
The Cubs offense didn’t start out in a grand way either, going the first three innings without a hit. It wouldn’t be until the fourth inning until they got their first run of the game. After Nick Castellanos started off the inning with a single, he advanced to second on a Kris Bryant walk. He then reached third on a fielder’s choice, eventually scoring at home thanks to a sacrifice fly by Javier Baez.
The Phillies would take back the lead in the bottom of the fifth. With two outs, Realmuto hit his 16th home run of the season, a solo shot to right-center field. That made it a 2-1 Philadelphia ballgame, and also gave Realmuto his 58th RBI of the season:
A little rain never hurt Realmuto.
He sends one right out to the stands to put the Phillies up, 2-1! pic.twitter.com/eBgbUFruiY
— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) August 14, 2019
That lead wouldn’t last long. On the first pitch of the sixth inning, Nick Castellanos hit a solo shot of his own to tie the game up at two. It was the 16th of the year for Castellanos, who the Cubs acquired at the trade deadline:
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) August 14, 2019
However, Realmuto would continue to put the offense on his back as the night progressed. With two outs in the bottom of the seventh and Andrew Knapp at first, the All-Star catcher delivered an RBI triple that gave the Phillies a 3-2 edge over Chicago.
Roman Quinn was able to help provide some insurance, delivering an RBI-triple of his own in the bottom of the eighth, which scored Sean Rodriguez from first. That made the game 4-2, which would prove the be the final score as Hector Neris was able to close out the game and earn the save. With the win, the Phillies improve to 61-58 on the season, tying them with the New York Mets for third in the National League East.
- Jose Quintana dominated the Phillies’ batters, acquiring a career-high 14 strikeouts in six innings while allowing two runs (one earned), five hits, and one walk.
- Jason Vargas provided the Phillies with a quality start, going six innings while allowing five hits, two runs (both earned) and three walks. He had just one strikeout and threw 87 pitches, 57 of them going for strikes.
- With Rhys Hoskins struggling, Realmuto stepped up in a big way Tuesday His home run, triple and two RBIs helped the Phillies offense prevail despite the team striking out 15 times. Overall, Realmuto went 2-3 on the night, and also drew a walk.
- August 14, Citizens Bank Park
- 7:05 p.m. ET
- TV: NBC Sports Philadelphia
- Radio: SportsRadio 94 WIP, WTTM 1680 (Spanish)
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