There were a couple of contrasting trends heading into Tuesday night’s game between the Phillies and Cubs:
Also...— schmenkman (@tgpschmenk) July 6, 2021
The Cubs in their last 10:
The Phillies after scoring at either extreme (either 0, or 9+):
(the Phils after scoring 1-8: 39-32, a playoff team) https://t.co/4hmbXNaDSL
Fortunately for the Phillies, the Cubs appear to be caught in some sort of brutal death spiral, and former teammate Jake Arrieta appears to be completely washed up. The Phillies’ hitters jumped on Arrieta and the rest of the Cubs’ pitchers early and often, resulting in their second straight game of double-digit scoring. That was enough to send the Cubs to their eleventh straight loss, this time by a score of 15-10.
While he didn’t live up to his Cy Young reputation in Philadelphia, and his habit of throwing teammates under the bus was somewhat off-putting, I didn’t quite get the extreme amount of hatred Phillies fans apparently hold for Arrieta. But it was certainly a good night for his detractors. Four batters into the game, Arrieta was facing a four-run deficit thanks to a grand slam by Andrew McCutchen.
TOUCH 'EM ALL!— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) July 7, 2021
Andrew McCutchen with a first-inning grand slam at Wrigley: pic.twitter.com/2tXAWEL0f2
They added three more in the second, and that was it for Arrieta. His ERA is now 6.30, and it wouldn’t be a surprise if this was his last start for Cubs.
The Phillies have a bad habit of going quiet after knocking the starting pitcher out of the game, but they continued to pour it on against the Cubs’ bullpen (with an assist from an especially poor Cubs’ defense) thanks to big nights from Jean Segura (Four hits out of the leadoff spot), Bryce Harper (Five hits including his first non-solo home run of the year), and Rhys Hoskins (Three hits including a home run).
Bryce Harper CRUSHES a three-run homer (not a solo shot!) to make it 15-4 Phillies! pic.twitter.com/7k4RqZa0xq— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) July 7, 2021
With the Phillies’ offense scoring at will, they didn’t need an ace-level performance out of starting pitcher Aaron Nola. Which is good, because they certainly didn’t get one. Honestly, I’m not sure what to make of Nola’s performance. He was pretty good - if not downright dominating - for five of his six innings. But in the third, he gave up four consecutive hits, and couldn’t seem to properly locate his pitches in allowing three runs.
A poor relief outing by Bailey Falter made the score look closer than it was, but even the Phillies’ bullpen couldn’t blow this one.
It stands to reason that the Cubs will win another game at some point. But if the Phillies’ offense continues to hit as well as it has the past two days, that next win might not come until after the Phillies have left town.