This one was close. It was within their grasp. It was a winnable game that could have gone their way.
Then Jose Alvarez happened.
There should have been a sense from the first inning that things wouldn’t go the Phillies’ way tonight. Zack Wheeler gave up a leadoff single to Lorenzo Cain, then induced a groundball to Didi Gregorius, tailormade for a double play.
Except Gregorius booted it. A surefire double play turned into men on first and second and no one out. Christian Yelich loaded the bases with a single, then Justin Smoak beat out another double play to score Cain, making it 1-0. After the Phillies did nothing in the top of the second, Milwaukee struck again. Tyrone Taylor bunted his way on, stole second, then scored on a Cain single. Orlando Arcia doubled Cain home on a close play at the plate, making the score 3-0.
The Phillies got one back in the fourth when Bryce Harper doubled, then scored on consecutive groundouts in the infield. In the sixth, Jean Segura tripled to leadoff, then scored when Gregorius himself reached on an error, making it 3-2. Harper walked, then Jay Bruce hit into a fielder’s choice, putting men on the corners. This was their chance to strike, their chance to take the lead. But Rhys Hoskins popped up and Adam Haseley struck out to end the threat.
There wouldn’t be another chance.
In the bottom of the seventh, Alvarez came in and....well...it wasn’t good. (Deolis Guerra didn’t help)
- two-run home run
- single - Guerra in to relieve
- sacrifice fly
- fly out
That’s how to lose a game.
The Phillies mustered another meaningless run in the ninth, but it was over.
Wheeler had an ok start and Nick Pivetta continues to be a weapon out of the bullpen, but it looks like Alvarez’s and Guerra’s luck is beginning to run out.
The two teams lock horns again tomorrow night.