Ivy Food: Cubs 7, Phillies 1

The ivy ate the ball! WHY IS THIS ALLOWED TO HAPPEN!?? - David Banks

The Wrigley ivy is hungry.

Well, we made it to September, folks. As of now, there are 25 games left. Just 25 more.

But we still have to deal with today's game. And also the next 25, but those are in the future so I'm not going to worry about those yet.

This was a game like so many Phillies games before it. The starter wasn't great, the bullpen gave up more runs late, and the offense was anemic. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Let's start with Kyle Kendrick. Today, Kendrick gave up five runs on eight hits in six innings. His ERA climbed back to 4.51. Let's put today's start in context.

The Phillies have some decisions to make about Kendrick (who is arbitration eligible) this offseason. I would suggest blasting him into the sun. It's just a suggestion.

J.C. Ramirez pitched one inning and allowed two runs on one hit and three walks. Three walks! His ERA is now a sparkling 9.18. THAT IS VERY BIG. THAT IS A LARGE ERA. He had such an encouraging start when he was called up, and then after that abysmal outing in St. Louis it's all been downhill. I'd ask that the late-June and early-July version of Ramirez come back, but we all know that's not going to happen.

What can you say about the offense? They were all clearly distraught about the departure of noted clubhouse good guy Michael Young. So distraught that they could only muster four hits over nine innings of baseball. Jake Arrieta steamrolled -- he allowed one run on three hits in 6 2/3 innings.

There were three bright spots. Darin Ruf hit his 12th home run in the 4th inning, a solo shot off of Arrieta. Jimmy Rollins, who still isn't hitting, walked twice. And Jake Diekman continued to be awesome. He pitched an entirely clean eighth inning, and his ERA slipped below 3.00 -- it's now 2.90.

The Cubs have a feature at their ballpark which actively prevents players from getting to balls. It's called the ivy. It coats the outfield walls, and while it's pretty, it traps baseballs so they're ruled things like doubles. It holds baseballs in its viney tentacles, hoping to lure an unsuspecting ballplayer into its dark, dank, leafy depths. The ivy is hungry. Quick! Feed it Kyle Kendrick! No one will notice!


Source: FanGraphs

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