Chase Away The Cold: Phillies 7 Cubs 2

Jonathan Daniel

Backed by a big day from Chase Utley, the Phils cruised to a win in the coldest place on earth.

Wrigley Field in April. Might as well play baseball on Ganymede.

On a day when players wore ski masks and a brisk wind blowing out of the ballpark resulted in a 28-degree wind chill, the Phillies ruined Wrigley Field's 100th anniversary party on Friday, cruising past the North Siders 7-2.

Second baseman Chase Utley went 2 for 5 with 3 RBIs, including a two-run home run that put the Phillies up 3-2 in the 5th. From there, they didn't look back, thanks to outstanding starting pitching by Roberto "Don't Call Me Fausto" Hernandez, who went 5 1/3 innings and gave up just two runs on three hits in recording his first win in a Phillies uniform.

Perhaps even more shocking, the much-maligned bullpen went the remaining 3 2/3 innings without giving up a hit, walked just two and struck out four.

It seemed like a curious decision at the time. Cruising through the Chicago lineup having thrown just 73 pitches, manager Ryne Sandberg elected to pull Hernandez in favor of lefty reliever Jake Diekman with three left-handed Cubs hitters due up in the bottom of the fifth.

But after blowing two saves in Texas earlier in the week, the 'pen came through in fine style on Friday afternoon, with Diekman, Justin De Fratus, Antonio Bastardo, Mario Hollands and Jeff Manship finishing things off. All told, Chicago recorded just three hits on the day and Phillies pitchers walked just three.

Offensively, Ben Revere and Domonic Brown both had three hits, with Brown notching his first two RBIs of the season. Carlos Ruiz continued to be a revelation in the two-hole (please don't ever move him from there, Ryne), going 1 for 2 with two walks.

The other big blow came off the bat of John Mayberry in the eighth inning when he hit a pinch-hit two-run homer to put the Phillies up 6-2 and essentially "ice" the game.

And yes, that was a weather-related pun.

The Phils were actually behind 2-0 after four, thanks to a solo homer from catcher Welington Castillo and an RBI infield single by Starlin Castro that scored Darwin Barney from first. But after an RBI single by Brown in the fourth, and Utley's two-run blast, the day was never in doubt.

Before the game, Sandberg joined fellow Cub Hall-of-Famers Ferguson Jenkins, Billy Williams and Ernie Banks in throwing out the ceremonial first pitch.

With the win, the Phillies move to 2-2 on the season, with the Cubs falling to 1-3. Game 2 of the series will be at 2:30pm ET on Saturday, with ace Cliff Lee looking to rebound from a brutal opening day. He'll face the Cubs' top starter and fellow walking trade rumor Jeff Samarzija.


Source: FanGraphs

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