Early on in today's series opener with the Cubs, the skies opened. It was only briefly, but long enough and with such fury that the lack of reaction by the umpires was admirable, honestly. The other day an ump tried to call off an Orioles-Astros game during a light drizzle and the players just refused to leave the field until a groundskeeper told the ump that it was just a passing shower and he rescinded his order. Some umps can get wetter than others, it seems.
Anyway, when the baseball weather returned, the skies opened with equal ferocity once more, only this, time it was Cubs home runs dropping out of the sky: Jorge Soler in the fourth. David Ross, moments later. Kris Bryant in the following inning. It seemed, entering the day, that suppressing the Chicago Cubs would be a tall order for struggling Phillies starter Adam Morgan. The already subdued Phillies offense would have Jon Lester on their hands, putting little hope in run support. So, it became quite clear that Morgan was on his own out there, and with his velocity slipping, he was quite rapidly out of his depth. And the Cubs could smell it.
Adam Morgan pitching at 89-91 is not a major league starting pitcher https://t.co/qmAaduRSD0— Matt Winkelman (@Matt_Winkelman) May 27, 2016
The three dingers (Ross', the 100th of his career, was three runs), along with a Soler sac fly in the first inning, had the Cubs up 6-1 and Pete Mackanin pointing at the bullpen. Morgan exited with a not-improved 6.67 ERA and everyone chirping about switching him out with someone like Ben Lively, or someone not like Ben Lively.
Andrew Bailey came on to pitch the fifth, and put a lid on the pot that had been boiling for the past twenty minutes or so, throwing a clean inning with two strikeouts. As Colton Murray and Brett Oberholtzer began warming up, it became difficult to imagine this game ending without more Cubs crossing the plate. Oberholtzer drew the short straw, so he came out first. Javier Baez greeted him with a single, but a strikeout and a double play ball got the usually beleaguered Oberholtzer spared from any trouble from the lead-off hit.
Then, having seen enough (as well as where this was going), the universe stepped in and put a stop to things by once more unleashing hell from the skies.
Pouring at Wrigley. Phillies trailing 6-1 in the 7th. pic.twitter.com/iIlamLrAc7— Matt Breen (@matt_breen) May 27, 2016
The Phillies got their run on a Maikel Franco sacrifice fly in the top of the third that momentarily tied the game. After the delay, they appeared to be putting something together as Odubel Herrera returned to second base due to a pre-delay double, and Freddy Galvis and Franco knocked enough singles to bring him around. With two runners on and one out, Lester took a deep breath and then easily whiffed Tommy Joseph and Carlos Ruiz to prevent anything too fun from happening.
In a bold move from manager Pete Mackanin, Oberholtzer and Murray both took the mound in the seventh. Absolute hilarity ensued as they innocuously figured out what was going on and Oberholtzer calmly left the field. Hard hit balls found gloves, lead-off singles were nullified by double play balls, and six Cubs runs and two rain delays later, the Phillies suffered their 22nd loss of the season, 6-2. The good news is they get to play the best team in baseball for two more blistering afternoons of sweat and offense.