Ok, here’s the situation that unfurled Wednesday night. Relieving starter Johan Oviedo, Genesis Cabrera came in to pitch in his 43rd career game. His first pitch was a 97 MPH sinker straight to the face.
Cabrera could’ve easily broken Bryce Harper’s jaw. Bryce walked off on his own power but it certainly didn’t look good. Cabrera was not ejected for the headshot. It probably wasn’t intentional, but pitchers have been ejected for less. It was later revealed that Harper went to the hospital for a CT scan.
Harper would later reveal that “everything came back good” via Instagram. Thank God.
On the very next pitch, Cabrera put a 94 MPH fastball into the back of Didi Gregorius.
The Phillies Response
Now with the warning, the Phillies could not afford to retaliate (not that it’d be the smartest thing to do anyway). Instead, Cabrera lit a small fire under the Phillies.
Andrew McCutchen rifled the 3rd pitch he saw, a 97 MPH sinker, to break the 3-3 tie.
In the top of the 7th, Alec Bohm doubled and Brad Miller and Matt Joyce walked to set up bases-loaded with 1 out. Didi Gregorius came through with a sac fly to make it 5-3. And yes, Alec Bohm touched home plate.
And the Cardinals pissed off Hector Neris so much that he pitched a flawless 9th inning to record the save. The Phillies are now 12-12.
More importantly, they could be playing hot now and it’s all thanks to Genesis Cabrera. Would’ve it’d be nice if the Phillies could’ve gotten hot without Bryce Harper getting hit in the face? Sure. Looking to the future, the Phillies now have something to play for in game 4 of the series and possibly beyond. Joe Girardi mentioned that he saw a lot of fight in his team during the post-game interview.
So thanks, Genesis Cabrera. You’ve awoken the Phightin’ Phils.
Photo Credit: Keith Gillett/Icon Sportswire