Somehow, the Phillies still hold on to a wildcard, are tied with the Nationals, AND STILL 7 games back of the division.
How that’s possible is anyone’s guess as the Phillies lost 2/3 to a team that had only won 4 games since the All-Star break.
This time we’re not going in chronological order. We’re going in order of least frustrating to most frustrating. As you read, mentally prepare yourself for the most frustrating game of the series.
You’ve been warned.
Game 2: Pivetta Saves the Day!
Saturday gave us a classic Aaron Nola performance. Three hits, two walks, and one run was all the Phillies ace allowed. The White Sox had no hope at the plate as they struck out 10 times against Nola and 14 times in the game.
Jon Jay opened the scoring with a RBI double in the top of the 4th. In the bottom of the 4th, Harper and Hoskins showed what they could do in the same inning (which doesn’t happen enough). They went back-to-back to put the Phillies in the lead.
The Phillies would add one insurance run. They somehow didn’t completely waste a bases loaded no one out situation. The one run came on a ground out.
Nick Pivetta came in for the 8th inning and 1-2-3 went the White Sox. Times were good.
He went back out for the 9th to close the game shut. Philadelphia almost had a heart attack again. Jose Abreu reached on an error by Jean Segura to start the inning. Jon Jay would single next. A minor miracle took place as Eloy Jimenez and Tim Anderson fell victim to the almighty K.
Two outs, all Pivetta needed was one more. Oh look, an RBI single. It’s a one-run game.
Next batter. Strikeout. All is Well.
Phillies win 3-2.
Game 3: Upside-down Smyly
He drew Cliff Lee comparisons. We hoped so hard that we had finally found a starting pitcher that belonged in the big leagues.
To be fair, he probably does. Drew Smyly effectively had one bad inning on one bad pitch. Two singles and good base running led to the first run. Acceptable.
A grand slam with 2 outs on a hanging curveball. Less acceptable.
Outside of that second inning, Smyly allowed only a single hit in 4 other innings. The bad mistake was punished.
The Phillies looked to be primed for a comeback. They scored 3 runs between the 5th and 6th innings. Mike Morin would be called upon for the 7th inning. He allowed a run, pushing the score to 6-3.
GABE KAPLER LET’S HIM PITCH ANOTHER COMPLETE INNING. For some ungodly reason, Morin would throw 34 pitches. The starter, Smyly, only threw 85 pitches and was TAKEN OUT AFTER RETIRING 9 STRAIGHT WHITE SOX, STRIKING OUT 5.
How Gabe Kapler manages a bullpen is beyond this Phillies blogger.
Tim Anderson would have his only big hit in the series in the 9th, homering off Blake Parker.
Newly acquired Corey Dickerson refused to go down quietly and ripped a two-run homer in the bottom of the 9th. It wouldn’t be enough.
Phillies lose 10-5.
Game 1: BASES LOADED SHOULD BE A GOOD THING
I’m going to get all the good/fun things out of the way first.
Jason Vargas had a quality start in his Phillies debut. Roman Quinn was 3-6 with a home run and 2 stolen bases. Zach Eflin and Blake Parker combined for 4 shiny clean innings with 6K. Vince Velasquez is the most athletic man on the Phillies roster and deserves a Gold Glove for left field.
THAT’S IT. END LIST. RANT TIME. I HOPE YOU’RE READY.
Bottom of the 1st
The White Sox load the bases by intentionally walking Bryce Harper. JT Realmuto grounds into a double play.
Bottom of the 6th
Rhys Hoskins walks. It’s men on first and second with nobody out. Bryce Harper’s up. Ground ball, should be a double play, error. Phillies fall [REDACTED] backward into a run.
Man on second, 1 out.
JT Realmuto strikes out. Harper steals third. Kingery HBP. Strikeout, Inning over.
One unearned run is scored.
Bottom of the 7th
One single ha ha ha. Two single, ha ha ha. THREE single ha ha ha.
Phillies drive home one. Rhys Hoskins is intentionally walked. The bases are loaded, one out. Bryce Harper strikes out and JT Realmuto, no wanting to be outdone, does the same.
A single run is scored.
Bottom of the 8th
Hey, let me know if you heard this joke before. Four men bat to lead off an inning. Three get on base. How many score?
NONE, BECAUSE IT’S THE PHILLIES.
TOP OF THE 9TH
Gabe Kapler goes with Juan Nicasio for the 9th with Hector Neris suspended. Jose Alvarez is getting loose in the pen in case lefty Ryan Goins comes to bat.
Nick Pivetta most likely would’ve pitched the 9th, but was removed for an unsuccessful pinch hitter in the bottom of the 8th.
Nicasio gets 2 outs but allows a double. Ryan Goins is up so Alvarez comes in.
0-2 count, at-bat, continues, single. Pinch hitter, 0-2, at-bat continues, SINGLE THE GAME IS TIED.
TO EXTRA’S WE GO.
THE REST OF THIS MESS
Blake Parker pitches the 10th and 11th innings. For some reason, Gabe Kapler chose to go to him here, instead of the 9th. Blake Parker has 32 saves over the past 3 seasons, including 10 THIS SEASON. Juan Nicasio and Jose Alvarez both have 9 for their entire careers.
There was a clear right answer, not clear enough for Gabe Kapler though.
Phillies blew through all of their offensive opportunities in regulation. They had all of 1 hit and 2 walks in extras.
Starting in the 12th, Zach Eflin came in relieve multiple innings. Everyone thought that would mean about 5, if necessary.
On no, alleged tricep tighness? Who will continue?
BAH GAWD. THAT’S ROMAN QUINN’S MUSIC. He’s pitching. Vince Velasquez is in left field. Cows are being abducted by aliens. Philly PD is greasing light poles.
It’s utter pandemonium.
Roman Quinn survives one inning because VELASQUEZ IS A S T U D. Phillies can’t score. Quinn is still pitching. Children are now crying. VELASQUEZ ALMOST SAVES THE WHOLE DAMN GAME AGAIN.
Except almost only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.
Phillies lose 4-3 in 15 of the most insufferable innings you will ever watch.
Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports