Final Score: Phillies 17, Cubs 8
This game was bonkers.
The Cubs and Phillies both put up seven runs in a single half inning. The Phillies emerged victorious and won by nine.
In the third inning, it looked like the Phillies were comfortable with conceding the game. Matt Moore and JD Hammer combined to give up seven earned runs in what was a horrendous third inning. Hammer in particular faced seven batters before being pulled and this is what happened: walk, hit-by-pitch (run), single (run), double (two runs), strikeout, three-run home run and single. At one point in the third, the Cubs’ win probability stood at 97 percent.
The Phillies are good at some things. They are bad at a lot of things. One thing they are very good at is digging themselves a hole, burying themselves within said hole and finding a way to climb out of the hole.
With that said, the Phillies pulled off a rather shocking comeback in the bottom of the fourth. They sent 12 men to the plate and scored seven runs to crawl back and make things interesting. Impressively, all seven runs were scored without a home run. Bryce Harper, J.T. Realmuto, Andrew McCutchen, Brad Miller and Odúbel Herrera all had base hits in the inning.
For weeks, the offense has been Harper and maybe one other contributor on a given night. While Harper drove in four runs himself, five Phillies players had multi-RBI games.
Harper ended up giving the Phillies the lead in the sixth on the double, but it was his home run in the seventh that was the icing on the cake for the Phillies.
The Cubs brought in their only lefty out of the bullpen in Rex Brothers in the seventh to face Harper and salvage the game. It brought back Phillies fans to a time when then Cubs lefty Derek Holland faced Harper back in 2019 with the bases loaded, one out and the Phillies down by two runs. Harper caught a pitch inside and drilled it into the second deck to walk it off for the Phillies in the most dramatic fashion. The moment still stands as the highlight of the last four seasons (and maybe the last nine years).
This time, Harper only needed to see one pitch down and inside to launch it into the second-deck in right field to give the Phillies a 15-8 lead.
This was an important swing for multiple reasons. On a micro level, Joe Girardi didn’t have to use Archie Bradley, Ian Kennedy or Sam Coonrod in the later innings. They should all be available for Friday’s opener in New York. Instead, Adonis Medina threw two scoreless innings in his season debut.
Harper’s swing also may have caught the eyes of the national baseball media. For weeks, the National League MVP race has been a crowded field. Harper, Fernando Tatis Jr, Max Muncy, Freddie Freeman, Austin Riley and even Max Scherzer and Walker Buehler have had their names thrown in.
After tonight’s game, Harper’s OPS now stands at 1.055, 47 points higher than any other qualified hitter in baseball. He’s also second behind Trea Turner in the NL batting title race. Since signing a 13-year-deal with the Phillies in 2019, Harper has faded from the national spotlight because the Phillies have disappointed relative to expectations and Harper has been great, but not legendary.
What Harper is doing in 2021 is pretty close to legendary.
The Braves were rained out Thursday, which means the Phillies are now three games out of first place in the NL East.
Will the Phillies make the playoffs? Will the Phillies even be in it during the final week of the season? We won’t know for sure for a week or so, but in the end, Thursday went from being one of the most miserable days of a disappointing Phillies season, to an all-around fun night for the players wearing powder blue and the more than 20,000 fans in attendance at Citizens Bank Park.
This one is surely going in the yearbook.
Shibe Vintage Sports Starting Pitching Performance
Kyle Hendricks: 3 2/3 IP, 6 H, 7 R, 7 ER, 3 BB, 1 SO, 76 pitches.
He was bad.
Here are the pitching lines for the Phillies bullpen.
- Cam Bedrosian: 1 1/3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 SO, 28 pitches
- Matt Moore: 1 IP, 1 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 0 SO, 23 pitches
- JD Hammer: 1/3 IP, 4 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 1 BB, 1 SO, 1 HR, 35 pitches
- Ramon Rosso 1 1/3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 0 SO, 19 pitches
- Bailey Falter: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 SO, 13 pitches
- Héctor Neris: 2 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 4 SO, 1 HR, 25 pitches
- Adonis Medina: 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 0 SO, 33 pitches
Phillies Nugget Of The Game
Ticket IQ Next Game
- Friday, Sept. 17 vs. New York Mets at Citi Field
- 7:10 PM
- TV: NBC Sports Philadelphia
- Radio: 94 WIP
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