It was another close game, but just like last night the Phillies scored late and ultimately prevailed in a 7-4 win that closed out this four-game series.
It was clear in the first inning that both teams were going to go round and round today. They traded runs and errors seemingly at will, and it started right away. In the first inning, Harang got the first two outs before allowing a triple to Chris Coghlan. Coghlan scored when The Handsome Kris Bryant singled him home. In the bottom of that inning, Cubs’ starter Dan Haren loaded the bases and gave up his first run on a Ryan Howard sac fly. The Phillies quickly took the lead on the next batter when Cameron Rupp singled and scored Odubel Herrera.
To lead off the top of the third, Dexter Fowler hit a liner to right field that was trouble with a capital T. So, Trouble.But Brian Bogusevic wasn't about to let that happen.
That's pretty impressive! Also impressive was Coghlan hitting his second triple in as many at-bats later that inning. OR WAS IT A TRIPLE!? It wasn't immediately clear. Here are the facts:
- Coghlan hit a ball against the right field wall
- A fan reached out as the ball was coming to him and it looked like it ricocheted off his hand.
- The ball rebounded off the railing below and into the field of play.
- Coghlan made it to third base.
Pete Mackanin got out of the dugout to ask about the call, and the umpires ended up throwing it to the crew in New York for further evaluation. At this point, it could have been three things.
- A double: the fan reached out and interfered with the ball, triggering an automatic ground rule double.
- A home run: the fan could have been reaching out in front of the railing far enough to affect the trajectory of the ball, and if the trajectory was into the stands, then that’s a home run.
- A triple: If there isn’t enough evidence to prove either of the above options, then they could just let the call stand.
It took the umpires six minutes and 17 seconds to reach conclusion number three. CSNPhilly did their best, making the footage close up and blurry and Zapruder-y, but it was still hard to see what happened. So Coghlan stayed at third. Indeed, he did stay there — the inning ended one batter later when Anthony Rizzo popped out and Coghlan didn’t cross the plate.
With Aaron Altherr on second in the bottom of the third inning, Ryan Howard lifted ball that looked like it was going to land in mid-right field. Then far right field. And then, all of a sudden, the ball floated into the stands for the least obtrusive home run in history.
After two triples that had been absolutely smoked, Coghlan finally got his homer in the fifth inning. With that solo shot, Coghlan had 10 total bases in just three trips to the plate.
The Cubs tied it up in the top of the seventh on a combination of errors and walks from the Phils. Ryan Howard was unable to handle a messy throw from Freddy Galvis which caused Addison Russell to reach. Dalier Hinojosa walked Kyle Schwarber (!!), and then went 3-0 on Coghlan before finally throwing a strike, and then another, and then a bunch of fouls, and then at long last getting Cogs to fly out. At this point, I’m pretty sure the game just isn’t going to end, because Coghlan’s at-bat took roughly five hours and it feels like it’s probably Christmas by now. Next, Anthony Rizzo hit a ball to the right side of the infield, and Cesar Hernandez put his glove down and couldn’t pick the ball. Hernandez and Rizzo collided at first base, and Hernandez tumbled over, holding his left hand. Rizzo was safe and a run scored on the error, tying the game. The Phillies’ trainer put a towel over his hand as Cesar left the game, which makes sense since he was diagnosed with a dislocated thumb. I don’t want to see that.
The Phillies took the lead back in the bottom of the seventh on a wild pitch. Altherr scored from third, and he was only on third because Dexter Fowler couldn’t quite grasp the ball in the outfield when Altherr doubled.
Fun fact: In the eighth inning, I went back to watch the top of the seventh on my computer to better write this recap. With the game in real time on my TV, I blinked and missed the Phillies getting two on in the bottom of the inning off of Carl Edwards. And right after I noticed the Phillies had runners on, Freddy Galvis served a fly ball into right field. Coghlan couldn’t catch it and it bounced up against the wall, scoring two insurance runs the Phillies needed very badly. Galvis was out at third, ending the inning, but it didn’t matter. The runs counted which is all I care about.
Ken Giles came in to close out the game in the ninth. It looked like it was going to be dicey, but with runners on the corners Anthony Rizzo hit a ball that Andres Blanco (playing at second for Hernandez) plucked right out of the air for the third out.
The Phillies split this series with the Cubs, which put them 5-2 over the Cubs this season. The Phillies continue their homestead tomorrow with three games against the flailing Nationals. I hope they make the Nats pay. Nothing like being beaten by the worst team in baseball to really help your self esteem as a team, right? Maybe Matt Williams will make more questionable managerial decisions! Oh, who am I kidding. He totally will!