Today's game between the Colorado Rockies and the Philadelphia Phillies was played under miserably hot and humid conditions, with the temperature peaking at just over 100 degrees. It was sunny, too, just for good measure.
Into this furnace came Tyler Chatwood and Adam Morgan, the latter recalled from Lehigh Valley as Luis Garcia went the other way to make room on the roster. Neither starting pitcher lasted deep into the game. Chatwood would be ineffective and get pulled. Morgan would fall prey to the injury curse that is killing off Phillies starting pitchers faster than drummers for Spinal Tap.
It was a sloppy game, with erratic defense and pitching. Under conditions that were absolutely miserable, it seemed pretty clear that everyone was affected by the weather.
The first clue that the weather was affecting play came for me in the second inning when the Phillies opened the scoring. Cameron Rupp reached on an error by all world fielding third baseman Nolan Arenado. A Freddy Galvis walk, of all things, put runners on first and second. When Tyler Chatwood allowed Jimmy Paredes to drive in the game's first run for Murderer's Row, it was clear that the weather had something to do with what we were seeing on the field.
The Rockies got the run back in the top of the third when Charlie Blackmon doubled and DJ LeMahieu changed places with him to tied it up 1 - 1.
In the bottom of the third, the Rockies helped the Phillies out with more errors, including another one by Arenado. The Phillies scored a run on a fielder's choice by Rupp but failed to do anything else when Freddy Galvis and Odubel Herrera could not come up with a hit with runners on.
The Rockies struck back in the fourth, with David Dahl singling to start things off. Nick Hundley hit a ball off Adam Morgan, singling and driving Morgan from the game with a contusion on his left arm. A Cristhiane Adames single tied it up again.
In the fourth, Jimmy Paredes led the inning off with a homer to put the Phillies back on top, 3 - 2. Charlie Blackmon, who can stay away from Philadelphia in the future, as far as I am concerned, duplicated this feat this in the top of the fifth for the Rockies, homering off Severino Gonzalez, who was in for the injured Morgan. The game was tied yet again, this time at 3 - 3.
In the bottom of the fifth, the Phillies chased Chatwood, who could not record an out. Rupp walked, Herrera singled, Galvis singled and drove in a run, and Paredes doubled, driving in Herrera. Jordan Lyles replaced Chatwood and got out of the inning, but not without giving up an infield single to Cesar Hernandez and one more run to the Phillies for a 6 - 3 lead.
In the sixth, the Phillies added their seventh and last run when Ryan Howard singled off Jake McGee and was doubled in all the way from first by Odubel Herrera. That voyage by the S.S. Howard was a thing of beauty. I imagine this will be immortalized in a GIF of Howard running forever with in that "I run on LEGOs" manner he has now. Can't someone get the man a Weasel?
In the seventh, Charlie Blackmon led off with another solo homer, of course, 7 - 4, Phillies up. Blackmon's 7 hits in this three game series, of which 5 were homers, will give me nightmare fuel for a few weeks.
Hector Neris cleaned up the end of the 7th and the 8th for the Phillies, leaving it up to Jeanmar Gomez to close it out in the ninth. Gomez again played with fire today, letting the Rockies get the tying runs on the bases, though the Phillies just missed a double play on a bad feed from Hernandez to Galvis. With the bases loaded and two outs, Nick Hundley came to the plate and lofted a single just in front of Altherr in center. The outfield defense was very deep, and Altherr could not get to a ball that was off Hundley's hands just a bit.
Gerardo Parra came to the plate and lofted a soft fly to Altherr, and the Phillies swept the Rockies, 7 - 6. Whew.
Jimmy Paredes is probably the unlikely hero today, missing only the triple for a cycle today. Severino Gonzalez got the win, and the bullpen held together just enough to preserve this one.
Lots of fun things happened: Howard's run home from first on Herrera's double, a stolen base by Franco, and some great throws my Rupp to gun down runners. Ultimately, it was sloppy though, but it is another one run win for the Phillies and a sweep is a sweep.