There was a time, not long ago, that a certain writer for our illustrious website here was championing the Phillies signing Tyler Chatwood. Falling for the siren’s song of spin rate, this writer was convinced that getting Chatwood out of Coors Field would show him to be the curveball monster he is. The Cubs swooped in and listen to the same refrain and gave Chatwood that contract...then promptly watched it blow up in their face. There, the simCubs have given Chatwood a second chance at the rotation. For this start at least, it wasn’t good.
The Phillies had themselves a first inning to remember. Chatwood stepped to the mound, then decided the Phillies’ lineup need a little cardio. So, he decided to walk Jean Segura and Didi Gregorius to start. He recovered to strikeout Bryce Harper, but then the Cubs’ struggling starter continued his charitable pitching, issuing free passes to J.T. Realmuto, JAy Bruce and Rhys Hoskins in succession, plating the first two runs of the game. For some reason, Scott Kingery decided to swing, hitting into a double play and ending the inning.
In the second, Aaron Nola got a one out single, followed by a Segura single, bringing up Gregorius. The slender shortstop tripled both runners home, then scored on a Harper sacrifice fly, making it 5-0. It stayed that way until the fourth when Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo hit back-to-back doubles and gave the Cubs their first run.
All was quiet until the seventh when the Phillies exploded for seven runs. Addison Reed, recently called up by the Cubs, starting the inning by giving up singles to Harper and Realmuto. Jay Bruce singled home Harper and drove Reed from the game. Jeremy Jeffress came in, but couldn’t extinguish the fire. He allowed a two-run double to Hoskins, another RBI double to Kingery, a single by Haseley who was subsequently sacrificed to second by Nola. Andrew Knapp pinch hit and popped up, bringing Gregorius to the plate.
Now, Gregorius had already tripled in the game once and did so again, bringing in two more runs. Harper came up and singled in Gregorius before Realmuto grounded out to end the inning, making the score 12-1. Kyle Schwarber did hit a two-run blast off of Nola in the bottom of the frame, but that was the last noise the Cubs would make.
In the top of the ninth, the Phillies threw up six more runs, thanks to a three-run pinch hit home run from Logan Forsythe, a two-run poke by Realmuto and a solo shot by Bruce.
After the game, when asked about the team’s offensive performance, Rhys told reporters:
“This kind of win will certainly make our fans happy.”
It was a good day.
Tyler Chatwood isn’t good and it’s a good thing he never wore red pinstripes. Aaron Nola’s day was much, much better than anything he has done lately. Perhaps his early season struggles are about to be put in the rearview mirror.
The two teams meet again tomorrow, though rain is in the forecast.