Quick recap of the game as far as the players went:
The Cubs - with an assist from the Phillies’ defense - scored two first inning runs off of starter Zach Eflin, who could not replicate his strong start against the Cubs in June. The Cubs tacked on two more in the third, putting the Phillies in a hole which they would not dig out of.
For a second, it looked like they were at least going to try. They scored a run thanks to three straight singles to start the fifth, and it looked like the Phillies might have had one of those elusive rallies going. But Kyle Hendricks quickly pitched his way out of the jam, and the Phillies spent the rest of his stint ineffectively waving at his pitches.
It really didn’t matter that Edubray Ramos and Austin Davis allowed three more runs after Eflin left. Besides, I’ve spent enough time talking about the players. It’s time to talk about the man who people really came to see.
8th inning. Time for Joe West to shine.— Matt Clapp (@TheBlogfines) September 2, 2018
That’s right - I’m talking about your hero and mine: umpire Joe West! In the top of the eighth, everyone’s favorite ump made his presence known by confiscating a strategy card from pitcher Austin Davis. Nobody could figure out why West took offense to the card, but rest assured, the fans - most of whom paid their money knowing he’d be the umpire - were thrilled.
When Joe West is coming over. pic.twitter.com/MyUQuR4X8k— Bleacher Nation (@BleacherNation) September 2, 2018
Ump Show? From Joe West? I'm shocked. Shocked I tell you.— John Infanti (@Johnny_2Hats) September 2, 2018
i see Joe West is trying to squeeze in his #umpshow before it gets rained out— keithlaw (@keithlaw) August 31, 2018
Bravo, Joe! Every time I think you can’t surprise me any more, you go and pull this trick.
My only hope is that Aaron Nola doesn’t do anything to overshadow West tomorrow. The players have to know their role, and understand just who it is the fans are coming to see. If Nola wants to pitch well, that’s fine. But he needs to do so quietly and inauspiciously, and no matter what, do NOT consult a strategy card!