Phillies

Phillies 7, Brewers 4: Phillies rally back twice to down Brewers on a long, cold, miserable night

Phillies 7, Brewers 4: Phillies rally back twice to down Brewers on a long, cold, miserable night

BOX SCORE

It was a long, cold, miserable night in South Philadelphia, but all the Phillies will care about is coming away with a win.

Down two runs at two different points, the Phillies rallied to tie the game in the middle innings and go ahead in the seventh of a 7-4 victory Monday over the Brewers.

J.T. Realmuto had the game-winning hit, an RBI double in the seventh inning after Jean Segura reached on a dropped third strike.

Odubel Herrera followed two batters later with a game-sealing two-run double.

The Phillies' bullpen, which entered the night eighth in MLB with a 3.89 ERA, allowed one run over six innings to close out the win. Pat Neshek pitched the ninth for his second save.

The game took 3 hours, 57 minutes.

The Phillies are 24-16 and improved to 15-7 at home with six more games at Citizens Bank Park this week.

Rough night for Nola

Aaron Nola didn't have much on Monday. It was 48 degrees at first pitch after a 52-minute weather delay and both Nola and Brewers starter Freddy Peralta appeared to have difficulty gripping the baseball. Both struggled with control.

Nola allowed back-to-back doubles to Lorenzo Cain and Christian Yelich to start the game. Both missed home runs by mere inches. Yasmani Grandal followed two batters later with an RBI triple.

Nola threw a career-high 38 pitches in the first inning and allowed a career-high three extra-base hits in the opening frame. 

He lasted only three innings and put eight men on base. Through nine starts, Nola is 3-1 with a 4.86 ERA. He was 6-1 with a 1.99 ERA through this many starts a year ago.

Hernandez still red-hot

Cesar Hernandez tied the game in the middle innings with a two-run shot off Jeremy Jeffress. That home run culminated a 100-at-bat stretch in which Hernandez hit .360/.429/.550 with eight doubles and four home runs.

Hernandez has been the Phillies' best hitter the last few weeks. He's up to .306 on the season with a .374 OBP.

Harper's issues continue

Bryce Harper struck out three more times, once with two men on and twice to lead off an inning.

Harper hasn't done much hitting at all lately. Even when the Phillies scored a combined 13 runs Saturday and Sunday, he went just 1 for 9.

Over his last 20 games, Harper is 10 for 68 (.147) with four doubles, two home runs and 28 strikeouts. His on-base percentage over that span is barely over .300.

Harper has struck out multiple times in seven of his last nine games. Through this many games last season, he had five more home runs and nine more walks.

Harper is at least making an impact right now with his defense. He had a diving catch Sunday in Kansas City and had a nice sliding grab with the bases loaded to end the seventh inning of a tie game Monday (see story).

"He's done a really good job of positioning himself. Specifically, I think he has looked to take command of his portion of the outfield," manager Gabe Kapler said hours earlier.

The importance of catcher defense

Grandal is a top-five catcher offensively but boy, does he give away a lot behind the plate. Within the first two innings, Grandal had a passed ball and a wild pitch that should have been caught. Then came the missed block on Segura's seventh-inning strikeout, which turned out to be the Phils' game-winning run.

On Sunday against the Cubs, Grandal failed to drop and block on a ball in the dirt, resulting in a baserunner advancing before he even knew the ball was by him.

Grandal's poor receiving skills certainly played a role in his extended free agency this offseason. He began the offseason with hopes of receiving a contract in the $80 million range. He was forced instead to sign a one-year, $18.25M contract with Milwaukee.

Up next

The four-game series between the Phillies and Brewers continues at 7:05 p.m. Tuesday.

Jerad Eickhoff (2-1, 1.50) opposes Milwaukee right-hander Brandon Woodruff (5-1, 4.25).

Jake Arrieta (4-3, 3.78) faces lefty Gio Gonzalez (1-0, 1.69) in Game 3.

It's Zach Eflin (5-3, 2.47) and Zach Davies (4-0, 1.54) in Thursday afternoon's finale.

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It turns out Jeopardy host Alex Trebek isn't the biggest fan of the Phanatic

It turns out Jeopardy host Alex Trebek isn't the biggest fan of the Phanatic

Jeopardy has been home to some great moments regarding Philadelphia sports in the past.

 I wish this was another one of these moments ... but it's not.

 It turns out, the show's host host Alex Trebek isn't a big fan of the Phillie Phanatic ... I know, I'm hurt too.


 The Phillies are in disbelief, we all are.
 
 Of course, fans had quite the reaction to the video that surfaced on social media. After all, the Phanatic is the best mascot in all of sports (totally unbiased, of course).




 

I don't even want to know what he thinks about Gritty.

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Bryce Harper shares thoughts on Nationals playing in World Series without him

Bryce Harper shares thoughts on Nationals playing in World Series without him

Right around the time the Washington Nationals were clinching their World Series berth this week, a guy who left that team to come play in Philadelphia posted a cute photo to his Instagram story with his baby son. It included the caption, "cuddle time is the best time."

I made light of the juxtaposition of that photo with what Nationals players were currently doing in a tongue-in-cheek tweet, but it's hard not to think about Bryce Harper during this Nationals run.

We know exactly how Nationals fans down in DC feel about their former favorite slugger who departed DC for big time bucks. They won't stop telling us.

But what was Harper feeling? Thanks to a one-on-one interview Harper did with Jayson Stark of the Athletic, we now have a glimpse into Harper's mind during this unique time.

Stark says Harper was effusive in his praise of the city of Philadelphia during their chat. And the majority of Harper's answers are very savvy in a public relations sense. Harper is good at saying what you think he's supposed to say. But it doesn't come off as disingenuous.

Stark asked Harper if he was feeling any jealousy watching his old pals spray champagne in the locker room and his answer comes off as pretty honest. From the Athletic ($):

“No,” he said again, without a millisecond’s hesitation, “because like I said, I made my decision, and that was my decision. And it was the final decision that I made. You know, jealousy isn’t good. For me, it’s about having the gratitude to go out and do what I do each day and not having an attitude towards anybody else.

“I think it’s about being able to be the person that I am,” he went on, “and not saying to myself, `Oh my gosh, I can’t believe I’m not a National.’ Or, `Oh my gosh, those guys are doing what they’re doing. I can’t believe it. I’m so jealous.’ No. I’m so happy for them. You know how hard it is to get into the postseason and win games. For them to be able to put it together this year the way they have, it’s an amazing thing.”

There's plenty more to the piece worth diving into. Stark also spoke with former National/Phillie Jayson Werth, who knows a thing or two about both cities/clubs and also what it's like to play alongside Harper.

The Nationals' opponent in the World Series is yet to be set, but whether it's the Nationals, New York Yankees or Houston Astros who are spraying champagne at the end of it, you won't see Harper doing that. Unless he and his little baby pop up in his Instagram stories getting wacky.

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