On the day that the team fired its hitting coach, the Phillies’ lineup showed just why a change was made by striking out 15 times. However, they were able to overcome those strikeouts thanks to strong pitching and a big night from J.T. Realmuto.
Cubs starter Jose Quintana was overpowering, striking out 14 batters in his six innings. That set a new record.
Jose Quintana, with his 13th K, now has the most strikeouts ever in any start of 6 IP or less against the Phillies— The Good Phight (@TheGoodPhight) August 14, 2019
As impressive as those strikeouts were, Quintana also made a few mistakes, most notably in the fifth inning when he gave up a home run to Realmuto.
Quintana also racked up a high pitch count, and with 110 pitches, he was forced to leave the game after six innings. That opened the door for the Phillies to score a couple of runs against the Cubs’ bullpen.
In the seventh, Realmuto came through again, driving home Andrew Knapp with a double into the left field corner. An inning later, Roman Quinn provided an insurance run with an RBI triple.
Jason Vargas wasn’t nearly as dominant as Quintana, but he was just as effective. He gave up two runs in six innings, and kept the Phillies in the game. After he left, Blake Parker, Mike Morin, and Hector Neris were able to preserve the win with three innings of scoreless relief. (Neris might have gotten a little bit of help from the umpire.)
Look, it helps the Phils, so I'll take it.— The Good Phight (@TheGoodPhight) August 14, 2019
But holy smokes this is one of the worst called strikes I've seen all year pic.twitter.com/hKqHreolBl
Perhaps when Charlie Manuel takes over as hitting coach, he can figure out a way to get the offense going. (He might want to start with Rhys Hoskins, who was responsible for four of the strikeouts.) Because while it was nice that they were able to overcome all of those strikeouts on Monday, it doesn’t seem like a great recipe for success going forward.