It’s not often you hear about the Phillies extending a different team’s misery, but it sure happened Monday night.
The Phillies got some timely hits and lots of power from the offense and some excellent work from their bullpen in a 13-3 defeat on the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field.
The loss was the Cubs’ 10th in a row.
The win improved the Phillies to 40-42 as they remained 4 1/2 games behind the first-place New York Mets in the NL East. The Phils are 16-26 on the road.
The Phils came back from two early one-run deficits and tied the game twice on solo homers by Andrew Knapp and Didi Gregorius in the third and fourth innings, respectively.
They took the lead for good in the sixth inning on an RBI double by Andrew McCutchen (he had three hits) and an RBI single by Rhys Hoskins.
The rally started with Bryce Harper drawing a leadoff walk against lefty reliever Rex Brothers. The walk came on a 3-2 pitch and Cubs manager David Ross didn’t like the call and ended up getting ejected. McCutchen’s double came moments after the ejection.
The Phils turned it into a flight when they capitalized on some poor defense to score six runs in the eighth. Three of them came on a home run by Odubel Herrera.
The Cubs used infielder Eric Sogard on the mound in the ninth and he gave up homers to Rhys Hoskins and Alec Bohm as the Phils continued to pour it on.
Bohm’s homer was his first since May 6.
Joe Girardi has taken a lot of heat for moves gone bad this season, but the Phillies manager made a few right choices in this one.
He gave J.T. Realmuto a rest and started Andrew Knapp behind the plate.
Knapp smacked a long home run to right to get the Phillies on the board in the third inning.
Matt Moore started for the Phillies and went just four innings before exiting for a pinch-hitter in the fifth.
Though the Phils got nothing out of it, Girardi’s decision to entrust Connor Brogdon with two innings of relief paid off when the right-hander put up zeroes.
Archie Bradley followed Brogdon with a scoreless seventh inning. Girardi used Jose Alvarado in an eight-run game in the eighth and the unpredictable lefty allowed a solo homer to Javier Baez. A week ago, Alvarado was the team’s closer. Before the game, Girardi said Ranger Suarez would get a chance to solve the problematic role if a save situation arose. It did not Monday night.
The Phillies will look to make it two straight over the Cubs on Tuesday night. The pitching matchup favors the Phils as Aaron Nola will go against former friend Jake Arrieta.
After spending the previous three seasons with the Phils, Arrieta has returned to the Cubs this season and been one of the worst pitchers in baseball (lol). He pitched to an 8.31 ERA in six starts in June – opposing hitters posted a .980 OPS — and will take an overall ERA of 5.57 into the contest.
The Phils still have six more games remaining on this road trip — three against the Cubs and three against the Boston Red Sox — which will take them to the All-Star Break. They need to keep on winning as the front office plans a strategy for the trade deadline.