After heading into the All Star break winners of three straight, the Phillies returned home to face off against the third worst team in the National League. The Chicago Cubs would send left hander Justin Steele to the mound to oppose Kyle Gibson.
The Phillies jumped on Steele early, as All Star Kyle Schwarber led off the bottom of the first, with his 30th long ball of the season.
Gibson shook off a few early base runners and both team’s offenses stuttered through the early innings.
Wilson Contreras would knot the game up at one apiece with his solo shot in the top of the fourth inning. It would quickly go downhill from there in all facets of the game for Philadelphia.
After a leadoff walk to begin the top of the fifth, things quickly spiraled out of control. Christopher Morel ripped a double down the line to plate a run, but an errant cut off throw from Rhys Hoskins on a back-pick to second, sailed into centerfield. This allowed Morel to score and have himself a little league homer.
A flyout, followed by a walk and an infield single, put two on for All Star Ian Happ. The outfielder singled in a run and kept the line moving. This made it 4-1 cubbies and spelled the end of the day for Kyle Gibson. He exited with a pair of baserunners on and gave way to Jeurys Familia.
Familia did what he has done best all season and allow runs. Both inherited runners scored on a Nico Hoerner double to push the lead for the Cubs to 6-1. Patrick Wisdom jumped on the hit parade with an RBI double of his own.
The six run fifth inning would finally come to an end as Familia retired a pair of Cubs. This could very well be the last appearance Jeurys makes as a Phillie with Sam Conrood nearing a return.
Corey Knebel and Nick Nelson were able to work scoreless sixth and seventh innings as the Phillies offense was still nonexistent. Knebel’s era has dropped to 2.95, as he has not allowed an earned run since June 19th. You are welcome for the one bit of good news, now onto the rest of this disaster.
In just his second appearance in the bigs since undergoing Tommy John Surgery, Jojo Romero was not sharp. He allowed four hits, one walk, and three earned runs in the penultimate inning.
Trailing 10-1 entering the final frame, Rob Thomson trotted out trusty backup catcher Garrett Stubbs, who proceeded to give up five more runs.
The Phills went out with a whimper in the bottom of the ninth thanks to a Darick Hall solo shot that went no less than a half mile.
An ugly, ugly loss coming out of the break certainly can put a damper on things. On the bright side, Knebel and Nelson continue to be solid. The bad news? Well the offense continues to not do the whole offense thing too well. Kyle Gibson also did not record a strikeout through 4.1 IP.
The boys are back in action Saturday night at 6:05pm. It’s Wheeler Day, so hopefully things turn out a bit better than the Friday night fiasco.