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Protracted struggle, delayed victory: Phillies 7, Brewers 4

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A 55 minute rain delay and a slow first couple led to a game ending four minutes before midnight eastern time.

MLB: Atlanta Braves at Philadelphia Phillies
I always kinda think Dan Baker looks like the evil warden in Shawshank Redemption.
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Luckily, west coast best coast, and it’s only about 8PM for me, which means you get to read my recap again.

Tonight’s game was marked by the home tribute to David Montgomery, presented by PA announcer Dan Baker. It was fittingly followed by a drawn out game that the Phils would ultimately win. It was also Game of Thrones night, which may mean something.

Aaron Nola struggled out of the gate, and never established good control of the strikezone or effective use of his fastball. Nola was pulled after three innings, the shortest outing of his career. He allowed three runs on five hits and three walks, including a solo home run by Mike Moustakas. Nola is a bit of an enigma right now—he’s clearly not the pitcher we thought last year, but he can’t be this bad, can he? I suspect last year may have been a bit of a false positive, but that his miserable 2019 is a false negative. We should see the real Nola return sometime this year.

The Phils did get two runs back in the second, driven in by Nola himself. With Cesar Hernandez on third and Maikel Franco on second, Nola chopped a weak grounder to short, and Milwaukee first baseman Eric Thames completely whiffed the catch, allowing both Hernandez and Franco to score, briefly tying the game.

Austin Davis came on in relief of Nola, and promptly allowed a fourth run. With the bases loaded, none out and a run already in, the game looked en route to disasterville. Somehow, Davis worked out of that jam with a GIDP and a K, and that was all she wrote for the Brewers’ vaunted offense.

Worth mentioning is the amazing laid-out catch by Bryce Harper in the seventh. With runners on first and second, Moustakas lined hard to right, and it would have scored at least one had Harper not pulled it in.

Juan Nicasio, Jose Alvarez, Seranthony Dominguez, Adam Morgan and Pat Neshek pitched five scoreless, allowing eight baserunners and stranding them all. Meanwhile, the Phils’ bats went back to work.

Hernandez hit a two-run homer in the fifth, tying the game again. In the seventh, Jean Segura led off by REACHING BASE on a dropped third strike, and later stole second, where J.T. Realmuto was able to drive him in with a double. Hernandez drew a walk, and Odubel Herrera followed up with a second double, scoring two more. 7-4.

The Phils broke their streak of losing series openers; and extended the Brewers’ losing streak to three. Game two in this series will be tomorrow (or later today?) and hopefully played in better weather. The Phils will send Jerad Eickhoff to the hill against Milwaukee’s Brandon Woodruff. And with the rest of the NL east taking today off, we’ve opened our division lead to 3.5 games, and have the third-best record in the league.

Rest in peace, David Montgomery. You’ve meant a tone to this franchise and it’s fans. A genuinely good man.