With the possibility of winning their first road series of the season, the combination of a fielding error by Odubel Herrera, a bad choice to intentionally walk Sosa by Joe Girardi, a base running blunder by Matt Joyce in the 10th, one bad pitch by Aaron Nola and a wild pitch by David Hale led to an extremely frustrating walk-off loss and a series split against the Cardinals.
Matt Carpenter’s pinch-hit 3-run home run in the fifth inning provided the Cardinals with all of their momentum, something the Phillies easily could have avoided. Herrera’s error allowed Knizner to reach second base, which for some reason led Girardi to choose to intentionally walk Sosa to get to the pitcher’s spot. The move might have made sense earlier in the game, or if Cards starter Kwang Hyun Kim was pitching a gem. But with Kim already at 84 pitches, it was a logical decision to replace him with Carpenter. For what it’s worth, Girardi did take accountability for the poor decision to intentionally walk Sosa after the game. That doesn’t change the fact that the mistake was made.
That inning was the only real hiccup for Nola, who went 6 innings and allowed 4 hits and struck out 7. Jojo Romero, Connor Brogdon, and Hector Neris combined for 3 shut-down innings, allowing just two base runners and striking out 4. One of those runners came when Neris hit Nolan Arenado with a pitch in the 9th. Was it intentional, to make up for Bryce Harper and Didi Gregorius getting hit yesterday? It’s likely we’ll never know for sure, but the umpires decided not to issue a warning to either bench for it and Neris finished off the inning unscathed. For what it’s worth, neither Harper nor Gregorius were available today and Girardi confirmed they will be re-evaluated once the team returns to Philadelphia.
Base running blunders don’t show up as errors on the scorecard, but if they did Matt Joyce would have been issued a big fat one in the 10th. The choice to tag at second on a fly ball to center with only one out and JT Realmuto coming up to bat was absolutely brutal and cost the Phillies the opportunity to take the lead. And David Hale’s walkoff wild pitch in the bottom of the 10th was the icing on the frustration cake for the Phillies, who haven’t won back-to-back games since they won four in a row to start the season.
Here are a couple of notes from the game:
- Roman Quinn now has more stolen bases (4) than hits (3) this season. He has more strikeouts (13) than both combined.
- The Phils’ 5 through 7 hitters (Herrera, Kingery, Quinn, and Miller, who batted for Kingery in the 8th) went 2-for-12 in this game with 4 strikeouts. They left a combined 7 runners on base.
- Nick Maton went 2-for-4 and collected his 4th double of the season. When Gregorius and Jean Segura both come back to the lineup, the Phillies have to figure out a way to keep Maton at the Major League level.
- Andrew McCutchen and Alec Bohm both went 2-for-5, each with an RBI and a run scored.
- Phillies batters struck out 13 times in this game. This was the 14th time they’ve reached double digits in strike outs so far.