This game felt so long, so so long, but it was actually relatively uneventful. For the Phillies, at least. Jeremy Hellickson was on the mound, and it didn’t really go the way we all hoped it would.
It all came apart for Hellickson in the fourth. He got two quick outs, but then gave up an 0-2 single to Jon Lester, who has a pathetically small number of hits in his career. That was a harbinger of what was to come.
Javy Baez, the author of that absolutely monstrous third inning home run, hit a single next. And then Kyle Schwarber knocked a homer into the seats. Kris Bryant hit a triple next, and then Anthony Rizzo was hit by a pitch. All of this was with two outs, and while typing it out and reading it is relatively simple, living through it was a much longer experience. Oy.
The inning ended with a exceedingly weird play, with a ball being hit toward the right field line and bouncing off the abandoned stool of a ball boy. Kris Bryant scored, but it was corralled in time to get it to Cameron Rupp. And to paraphrase LTG, he flopped over on to home plate just like a big cat, and managed to tag before Anthony Rizzo could. The inning was finally over.
In all, Hellickson gave up three homers and six runs on the night. In his previous five starts, he had given up a total of two home runs and six runs. Regression’s a bitch.
And again, just like las tnight, one of the bright spots of the game was Aaron Altherr. If his great play over the past week could somehow become a sentient being and speak for itself, it would walk up to Pete Mackanin, stick its finger in his face, and say “AARON ALTHERR DEMANDS MORE PLAYING TIME, HE WILL NOT BE SILENCED, GIVE ME MY FREEDOM!” Or something like that. What I’m saying is that Altherr has been playing very well. Tonight he went 2-for-3 with a walk and a home run. He’s hitting .333 and doesn’t give a shit that Howie Kendrick is coming back soon.
The Cubs bullpen, now thankfully without Aroldis Chapman, completely silenced the Phillies tonight. Three pitchers sat 12 straight batters back to the dugout, and the Phillies had no chance to even consider a comeback. They notched just four hits. In the whole game.
Oh well. There’s always tomorrow.