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Another crushing loss: Cubs 7, Phillies 5

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Maybe umpires should be required to get in-season strike zone training, but what the hell do I know?

MLB: Philadelphia Phillies at Chicago Cubs Jim Young-USA TODAY Sports

I saw this coming a mile away. With a 5-3 lead going into the bottom of the ninth inning, the Phillies needed a stopper, and instead they got the opposite of that. Whatever the opposite of that actually is. It led to them losing 7-5 on a walk-off grand slam, another crushing loss in a season of crushing losses.

So let’s focus on one of the main reasons the Phillies lost tonight.

Vic Carapazza is a bad umpire

Okay, the home plate umpire might not be a “main” reason the Phillies lost, but he was absolutely a contributing factor. The Phillies had some pitching issues this evening, but a very ungenerous zone from Vic “I’m terrible at my job” Carapazza amplified everything. Aaron Nola didn’t have his best stuff, but he got squeezed throughout the game. All you have to do is look at his walk total for confirmation: 4. That’s not Nola-like.

But he gritted his teeth and made it through this start anyway. He miraculously pitched six innings, giving up three runs on four hits. He could have done better, but it could have been worse. Vic Carapazza could have been worse, I guess. Somehow.

Carapazza then proceeded to squeeze our beautiful boy Seranthony Dominguez, right when he needed it least. It was the ninth inning, and it felt like the Phillies had a win in the bag. They were up 5-3 after a ninth-inning home run (more on that in a moment), and Seranthony was on the mound! But he’d also pitched the eighth inning, and was working on back-to-back days. He started the ninth inning with a four-pitch walk to Kyle Schwarber, and it didn’t get better from there.

Seranthony struck out Javy Baez, but after he allowed a hit to Albert Almora Jr, Gabe Kapler took him out. It was the only thing he could do. Kap called for Aaron Morgan in the bullpen, and after walking Ian Happ to load the bases, he served up a cookie to Jason Heyward and the game was over.

The Phillies offense deserves credit tonight. They were down 3-0 and came back to tie it up in the sixth inning, thanks to a home run from Aaron Altherr. It was tied until the ninth, when Dylan Cozens, our Large Adult Son, hit his first major league home run to put the Phillies up 5-3.

God that’s beautiful. If only the score had held.

But sometimes this happens. Sometimes you get a bad home plate umpire. Sometimes your pitchers don’t quite have it. Sometimes all the offense you could possibly provide just isn’t enough. Tonight, nothing was enough.