The Phillies have had a bad habit of not tacking on runs this year. They’ve been ahead plenty of times in games, sometimes by five runs or more, only to suddenly forget that scoring more runs is certainly allowed. That lack of driving in insurance runs has led to them losing games that the bullpen cannot hold. It’s not the direct reason, but one of those undercurrent things that has led to this disappointing season.
Tonight, the Phillies did get those insurance runs and a whole lot more.
It didn’t start out well. Matt Moore, the starter for the evening, loaded the bases in the first inning with one out, not looking particularly good during any of the first four at bats. To his credit, he came back to strike out Patrick Wisdom and Joc Pederson to end the threat, perhaps giving the team a slight bounce in their step that the sky was in fact not going to fall on them. He did give up a home run to Jake Marisnick in the bottom of the second to give Chicago the lead, but the team came right back when the best backup catcher in the game launched one out of Wrigley Field to tie the game at one.
Javier Baez doubled in Kris Bryant in the bottom of the third to send the lead back to the Cubs, but Didi Gregorius looked in his bag, grabbed his pitching wedge and got one up in the air, tying it again, this time at two.
Didi Gregorius smokes one into the Wrigley bleachers to tie it up! pic.twitter.com/4Yl6u3ifxu— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) July 6, 2021
It remained that way until the sixth when the Phillies grabbed two more runs when Bryce Harper walked to start the inning, then hustled around the bases to score on an Andrew McCutchen double. Rhys Hoskins would single in McCutchen and suddenly, the Phillies were up 4-2.
Moore was able to go four innings, but was wisely pulled in the fifth when Joe Girardi tried for a few runs with a pinch hitter, but he was replaced by Connor Brogdon, who pitched two solid innings of relief for the Phillies. Archie Bradley was also solid in the seventh, holding the lead at 4-2. That brought the game to the eighth when lo and behold, an avalanche of runs.
Adam Morgan - yes, that Adam Morgan - started the inning, but walked Harper, gave up a single to McCutchen and walked Gregorius to load the bases to see his night come to a brief and ineffective end. After Kohl Stewart came into the game, the Phillies looked like they might not get all those runs home. Hoskins grounded out into a force out, the Cubs retiring Harper at home. Bohm walked to get a run, but Knapp struck out to make it two outs and only one run having made it across. Ronald Torreyes hit a ball sharply to third baseman Eric Sogard, who booted it, allowing two runs to score. Odubel Herrera, slumping badly, broke out of it by drilling a long home run to centerfield and the score was suddenly 10-2.
Baez made it 10-3 with a home run in the bottom of the eighth, but facing Sogard in the ninth, the Phillies tacked on three more thanks to some missiles from Hoskins and Bohm.
Alec Bohm - Philadelphia Phillies (5) pic.twitter.com/KkYRdv0fFE— MLB HR Videos (@MLBHRVideos) July 6, 2021
Brandon Kintzler locked it down for them in the ninth and the Phillies handed Chicago their tenth straight loss. The bullpen was actually quite good tonight, giving the team five innings of exceptional work. The home run to Baez was just solid hitting, so you tip your cap there, but when they needed outs, they got them.
They’ll go back at it tomorrow night.