This game never felt comfortable, even with as good as Ranger Suarez was. There was simply a huge sense of inevitability to this that when J.T. Realmuto hit a lead-taking home run in the bottom of the eighth, it just felt that there was going to be issues. Luckily for the Phillies, it was communication issues between the pitcher and catcher on the Cubs that would be an issue.
Suarez was quite good for the first few innings, only scattering three hits over the first four innings before his offense could get revving up. There was an issue in the third where the Cubs had loaded the bases, but that was due to an error by Didi Gregorius that turned what could have been an inning ending double play into a hot mess. Suarez was able to work around it, but the momentum from that rally killing shutdown didn’t come until the fourth. In that inning, Harper doubled to start it off, then was followed by a single to Realmuto that put runners on the corners. Gregorius would at the very least ground into a double play that scored Harper, but now there two outs. More runs were needed. Andrew McCutchen got on, then was followed by Freddy Galvis.
That's a two-run homer for Freddy Galvis. pic.twitter.com/DMriwBc0c4— Todd Zolecki (@ToddZolecki) September 16, 2021
Remember shutdown innings? Beautiful thing they are. Helps the team develop some momentum that can carry them to victory sometimes. The Phillies’ pitchers though? Not big fans of them. Suarez would give up a leadoff double to Matt Duffy, then an opposite field home run to Frank Schwindel that brought the Cubs within one.
In the bottom of the fifth, Suarez would help himself by doubling, but looked like he would get stranded when the next two batters failed to move him over. When the Cubs walked Harper, it left it up to Realmuto. Realmuto blooped one in and brought Suarez home, getting the lead up to two.
It would remain that way until the eighth when the Jose Alvarado Experience was in full effect. He hit Ian Happ to start it off, then sent him to second on a wild pitch. With one out, he put one in the strikezone that Robinson Chirinos didn’t miss, crushing it for a game tying home run. It was so predictable it’s just not even funny anymore, but the best was yet to come. Realmuto tried to play hero again in the Phillies’ half of the eighth, getting his third hit of the night with an opposite field home run that gave the Phillies the lead.
That meant that it would come down to Ian Kennedy to try and save the ga—
Matt Duffy's turn for a game-tying homer! pic.twitter.com/ny7JAdXQ4S— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) September 16, 2021
It’s probably time that Kennedy stop being the closer, seeing as how he doesn’t really have the stuff to be a closer, but who else is there?
At least the game would be tied only, giving the Phillies another chance to win it before moving into extra innings. Andrew Knapp started the ninth with a single, then went to second on a sacrifice bunt from Mickey Moniak. Odubel Herrera grounded out to the pitcher that ended up being beneficial as it would send Knapp to third. With Jean Segura at the plate, he being pretty clutch all year, everything was set for him to walk it off. Then....this:
With Andrew Knapp on 3rd Trevor Megill throws a wild pitch inside on Jean Segura that gets past Robinson Chirinos to Walk Off the game for the Phissis 6-5 in the Bottom of the 9th pic.twitter.com/z1EvEwH5iE— MLB Walk Offs & Game Winning Plays (@MLBWalk_Offs) September 16, 2021
What a weird ending to a game. A Pyrrhic victory? Maybe, but we should all be taking what we can get at this point.