Final: Phillies 6, Cubs 5
It wasn’t the type of win that makes you believe that a hot streak is coming — quite the opposite, really. But the Philadelphia Phillies defeated the Chicago Cubs Wednesday, improving to 73-72 on the 2021 season.
Bryce Harper led off the bottom of the fourth inning with a double down the left field line, which J.T. Realmuto followed with a bloop single. A struggling Didi Gregorius had a chance to do damage with runners on the corners and no one out, but instead grounded into a double play. While the shortstop wasn’t credited with an RBI, his groundout did allow Harper to score.
Later in the inning, Freddy Galvis came to the plate following an Andrew McCutchen walk and hit a 395-foot home run off the facing of the second deck in right field:
Ranger Suárez and the Phillies failed to get a shutdown inning after the offense gave them a 3-0 lead, however.
Matt Duffy led off the top of the fifth inning by doubling into the left field corner, with Frank Schwindel then taking Suárez deep to the opposite field:
To his credit, Suárez quickly made amends by smoking a double over the head of center fielder Ian Happ to lead off the home half of the fifth. After Odúbel Herrera and Jean Segura grounded out, the Cubs elected to intentionally walk Bryce Harper. The gamble by Cubs manager David Ross didn’t pay off, as J.T. Realmuto drove in Suárez with an RBI single into right-center field.
The Phillies had a chance to do even more damage in the inning after Harper and Realmuto successfully executed a double steal. But with runners on second and third and two outs, Gregorius grounded into the shift to end the inning.
That came back to haunt the Phillies in the top of the eighth inning, when José Alvarado surrendered a game-tying home run off the bat of Robinson Chirinos:
Fortunately for the Phillies, Realmuto — back in the lineup after missing Tuesday’s game with right shoulder inflammation — hit the first pitch that he saw in the bottom of the eighth inning into the right field stands, giving them a 5-4 lead:
That lead quickly was erased in the top of the ninth, as Ian Kennedy blew the save on the first pitch of the inning as Duffy deposited the ball in the left field stands:
As you still tried to catch your breath after the 31st and 32nd blown saves of the season by the Phillies, Andrew Knapp led off the bottom of the ninth inning with a single into right field. After a Mickey Moniak sacrifice bunt allowed Knapp to move up to second, he was advanced to third on a groundout by Herrera. Just as it appeared that Jean Segura was primed for another walk-off hit, Chirinos wasn’t able to field a pitch that Trevor Megill threw, allowing Knapp to score the game-winning run on a passed ball:
In September — especially when you’re mathematically in a playoff race — a win is a win. But the way the Phillies got to their 73 win exemplifies why they’ve struggled to win late-season games so much in the last four season.
Shibe Vintage Sports Starting Pitching Performance
- Alec Mills pitched 4 2/3 innings for the Cubs Wednesday night, allowing six hits and four earned runs.
- Ranger Suárez set a new career high with eight strikeouts, while limiting the Cubs to two runs over six innings. The 26-year-old now has a 1.50 ERA in 84 innings this season.
Phillies Nugget Of The Game
Ticket IQ Next Game
- Thursday, Sept. 16 vs. Cubs at Citizens Bank Park
- 6:05 p.m. ET
- TV: NBC Sports Philadelphia
- Radio: SportsRadio 94 WIP
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