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Of Cycles and Psychos - D’backs 9, Phillies 8

Calm down, Greg. It’s soccer.

Syndication: Arizona Republic Rob Schumacher/The Republic / USA TODAY NETWORK

Man, that one would have been nice.

The Phillies came up just short in a dramatic back and forth affair that resulted in a 9-8 L for the good guys on their first of four in the desert.

JT Realmuto had hisself a night as he became the first Phillie to hit for the cycle since David Bell in 2004. JT also collected a walk to reach base 5/5 times for a…Gordie Howe cycle?

In a short turnaround to hit a west coast trip with zero days off, the offense came out strong.

After opener Matt Strahm allowed a first inning sac fly RBI by Evan Longoria to give the D’backs an early 1-0 lead, Realmuto led off the top of the second with a solo shot to right center.

The first inning sac fly run off Strahm came with one out and bases loaded, one of which was occupied by D’backs outfield phenom Corbin Carroll, who reached base on a hit-by-pitch from a sinker that didn’t sink. This will unfortunately become important later.

Two-out runs were the name of the game as both teams combined for 14/17 runs scored with one out to go.

With two on and two out in the top of the third, Realmuto crossed off the hardest box on the BINGO card with a two-RBI triple.

He was followed by an Alec Bohm double and Josh Harrison single that gave the Phillies a 5-1 lead.

Things quickly got weird in the bottom of the third.

Strahm allowed a leadoff single to D’backs third baseman Emmanuel Rivera which brought Corbin Carroll (remember him?) to the plate for his second AB of the night. On a 1-0 pitch to Carroll, with a man on base, no outs and a four-run lead, Strahm again missed inside with a sinker that grazed the rookie’s forearm.

D’backs manager Torey Lovullo decided to forego all situational reasoning to leave the dugout and fulminate at home plate umpire Vic Carapazza, which earned him an ejection and cleared both teams’ benches.

After the ruckus subsided and play resumed, Christian Walker hit a deep fly out to right field. On his way jogging back to the dugout, it appeared that Strahm muttered something into his glove in the direction of Walker, which led to another ejection from the D’backs bench of Josh Rojas.

With two outs, D’backs outfielder Pavin Smith chased Strahm from the game with a two-RBI single to right. Yunior Marte came in to record the third out and temporarily end the drama.

Marte got the first two outs of the bottom of the fourth before allowing a double, single and triple to make it 5-5.

Dylan Covey pitched a scoreless bottom of the fifth before surrendering two singles to begin the bottom of the sixth and put runners on the corners with no outs. The D’backs would take a 6-5 lead on a sac fly by Rivera. Covey was pulled so that lefty Andrew Vasquez could get another shot at plunking Carroll for the hat trick.

Presumably against the organization’s directive and to their chagrin, Vasquez refused to hit the rookie a third time and instead permitted him to safely run out a high chopper to put two men on. After a pop-up to second by Christian Walker to get the second out of the inning, Vasquez got ahead 0-2 to Longoria but couldn’t put him away. Longoria got all of a 2-2 slider that cleared the fence in deep right center to give Arizona a 9-5 lead.

Schwarber led off the top of the seventh with a walk and was brought home on a sharply hit double by Bryce Harper to make it 9-6.

JT Realmuto continued his exceptional night with a walk to follow Harper’s double before Alec Bohm laced an RBI single to right. 9-7 Phils.

Josh Harrison would work a walk to load the bases but pinch hitter Bryson Stott grounded out to his position to end the threat.

Realmuto led off the top of the ninth with a leadoff double against D’backs’ closer Miguel Castro to complete the cycle.

With the last of many two-out runs, Bryson Stott (who entered the game as a pinch-hitter for Edmundo Sosa in the seventh) singled to right to score Realmuto and make it a one-run game.

Kody Clemens came on to pinch hit for Dalton Guthrie and hit a liner down the right field line that was initially called a two-run homerun but was crushingly overturned as a foul ball. He struck out on the next pitch to end the night.

Realmuto became the ninth player to hit for the cycle as a Phillie and the 17th catcher in baseball history to accomplish the feat.

Nick Castellanos collected two singles for his 26th multi-hit game of the season.

Zack Wheeler takes the mound for the Phillies against Zach Davies tomorrow at 9:40pm in game 2 of the four game series.