Final Score: Cardinals 4, Phillies 3
In a hard-fought, roller-coaster ballgame like the series finale between the Phillies and Cardinals, it’s the little things that can go a long way in determining the outcome. That was certainly the case on Thursday.
Matt Joyce did the unspeakable on the base paths in the top of the 10th inning, making the final out at third base while attempting to tag from second for an inning-ending double play. The baseball gods — and David Hale’s command — wouldn’t let the Phillies recover, as Hale spiked a 1-2 breaking ball with one out in the 10th to allow the walk-off run to cross.
The game had started out promising for the Phillies, as early on, Aaron Nola looked nearly as sharp as he did in his complete-game shutout against St. Louis 11 days ago. But a pinch-hit homer from Matt Carpenter put the Cardinals up in the fifth, and though the Phillies tied it in the eighth, they couldn’t push the winning run across.
The only bad inning all day from the Phillies’ bullpen was enough to force them to settle for a 2-2 split in the four-game series, finishing off a 3-4 road trip and moving to 12-13 on the season.
- The Phillies had a chance to take an early lead in the first inning after singles by Alec Bohm and J.T. Realmuto put runners on first and second with two outs. But Odúbel Herrera — in the five-hole because of Bryce Harper and Didi Gregorius’ absences — went down swinging on a curveball well out of the zone to end the threat.
- Realmuto gave the Phillies a 1-0 lead in the top of the third with an opposite field double to score Bohm, who had reached on a fielder’s choice. Just before Realmuto, Rhys Hoskins lined out on a center-cut 3-0 offering, but the best catcher in baseball picked him up with the gapper.
- The B.C.I.B. had quite an all-around third inning, doing it with the arm in the bottom half by nabbing Edmundo Sosa attempting to steal second. Color commentator John Kruk said what everyone else was thinking about the decision to test Realmuto: “Why?”
- Matt Carpenter erased the Phillies’ lead and then some with one swing in the fifth, hitting a three-run pinch hit homer to right. Roman Quinn almost made an unbelievable play to rob it and actually momentarily caught the ball, but it fell out and dropped into the Cardinals’ bullpen as he collided with the fence.
- Pinch-hitting for Nola, Andrew Knapp struck out following a Nick Maton leadoff double in the seventh, but a fellow Andrew picked him up. Cutch lined a double into left-center, bringing Maton around and drawing within one. It was McCutchen’s first multi-hit game since April 16.
- The Phillies tied things up on the very next play, as Bohm singled up the middle to bring home McCutchen, who had no interest in Dusty Wathan’s stop sign coming around third. It was the second hit of the day for Bohm, who’s now 3-for-6 since being left out of Wednesday’s starting lineup.
- As he’s done since his call-up, Maton flashed the leather in the seventh inning, this time at shortstop. He fielded a ball back up the middle and, with his momentum taking him flying past the bag, he reached down to tag second with his glove and got a quick throw off to Hoskins at first for the double play. An underrated aspect of the play: JoJo Romero opting to let the ball go over his head and allowing his infielders to work.
- Connor Brogdon also flashed the leather — just without the leather. He barehanded (perhaps unnecessarily) a comebacker from Tommy Edman for an easy out at first, capping off a perfect six-pitch eighth inning.
- Héctor Neris drilled Nolan Arenado in the back with a 94-mph fastball with two outs and no one on in the ninth. While it’s not exactly ideal to put the winning run on base in a tie game in the ninth, maybe Neris had no interest in pitching to Arenado and decided to send a message after last night’s fiasco. The jury’s still out, but not for Cardinals manager Mike Schildt — he got tossed shortly after the umpiring crew decided not to eject Neris.
- Matt Joyce made the kind of baserunning mistake you’re taught in Little League to avoid. When Hoskins flew out for the second out in the 10th with Joyce on second, Joyce tried to take third and was thrown out by a mile to end the inning.
- David Hale threw a wild pitch with one out and runners on the corners in the bottom of the 10th. Tyler O’Neill scored easily, and that was that.
Shibe Vintage Sports Starting Pitching Performance
Aaron Nola: 6 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 7 SO, 80 pitches
Nola really was sunk by one bad pitch. A fifth-inning bloop that Herrera probably should have caught plus an intentional walk to Sosa set Carpenter up, and he made the most of his opportunity. Nola had his curveball working all game, but it caught a little too much plate this time, and MLB hitters will hit those pitches — even if they’re hitting below .100 on the season.
Up until that pitch, Nola provided shades of his last outing against St. Louis — his first career nine-inning shutout — facing one more than the minimum through four innings. His season ERA is now 3.11.
Kwang Hyun Kim: 5 IP, 7 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 4 SO, 84 pitches
The Phillies jumped on Kim early for three runs across three innings 12 days ago, and they didn’t fare quite as well this time around. Apart from the two-out double by Realmuto, Kim got big outs when he needed to. He changed speeds effectively, utilizing an arsenal of slow, slower and slowest to lower his ERA to 3.29.
After allowing one run through five innings, Kim was lifted in the bottom of the fifth for the pinch-hitting Carpenter in a move that paid immediate dividends.
Phillies Nuggets Player of the Game: Matt Carpenter
The pinch-hit homer was Carpenter’s only action all day, but it drove in three of the Cardinals’ four runs and gave them a chance to win it in extras. St. Louis walked it off in rather unheroic fashion, so Carpenter’s clutch hit gives him the nod.
Ticket IQ Next Game
- Friday, April 30 vs. New York Mets at 7:05 pm ET
- Citizens Bank Park
- NBC Sports Philadelphia, MLB Network
- 94 WIP
MORE FROM PHILLIES NATION
- Phillies 2021 Walk-Up Songs
- Phillies Nation Top 20 Phillies Prospects: March 2021
- What’s The Latest On Cole Hamels?
- Aaron Nola Isn’t Perfect, But He’s An Ace
- Inside The Phillies Plan To Fix Former Top Prospect Scott Kingery
- Which Center Fielders Could The Phillies Target In A Trade?
- With McCutchen Off To A Slow Start, Would Girardi Use Bryce Harper As Leadoff Hitter?
- What Fans Should Know Before Returning To Citizens Bank Park
- What Will Former No. 1 Overall Pick Mark Appel’s Role Be In The Phillies Organization?
- J.T. Realmuto Could Have Been Traded For Another Future Phillie In 2014