JT Realmuto takes the blame, Phillies split with Cards, lose 4-3 in extras
After starting the season 5-1, the Phillies have been unable to win back-to-back games. Even with their struggles and going 7-12 after a hot start, the Phillies find themselves tied with the Atlanta Braves (12-13) and the New York Mets (9-8) atop of the NL East. The team wrapped up a 3-4 road trip yesterday afternoon with a 4-3 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals in extra innings, thanks to poor defense, a shaky bullpen, and still, an offense that struggles to hit with runners in scoring position.
The Phillies lineup was extra thin yesterday due to both Bryce Harper and Didi Gregorius getting plunked the day before and not having their two bats in the center of the order and in the field definitely hurt them. JT Realmuto gave the Phillies a 1-0 lead after he roped a double in the gap of left-center field.
Aaron Nola was on the mound and took a 1-0 lead into the 6th inning, before allowing a three-run home run to Matt Carpenter. Roman Quinn was able to make a play on the ball and literally had it in his glove before losing it over the right field wall. I’m not saying that Bryce Harper would have 100% robbed the home run if he wasn’t sidelined, but I definitely would have liked him making this play instead of Quinn. Nola finished the game throwing six innings, allowing four hits and three earned runs while striking out seven batters.
Jojo Romero and Connor Brogdon would each throw a scoreless inning in relief of Nola and the Phillies would battle back in the seventh inning thanks to Alec Bohm and Andrew McCutchen. The two players who have struggled for the Phillies this year tied the game 3-3 after Cutch hit a double to score Nick Maton and Bohm hit a single to score Cutch. Hector Neris pitched a great ninth inning and even gave the Phillies some payback by plunking Cardinals star Nolan Arenado right in the back.
The game headed into extra innings and the Phillies screwed up with Matt Joyce on second to start the top half of the inning. Joyce tried to advance on a fly ball to mid-centerfield and was easily thrown out. How a 10-year veteran could make such a visible mistake was pretty frustrating to watch, especially with JT Realmuto in the batters box. The Phillies would head to the bottom half of the inning with David Hale on the mound. With runners on the corners and one out, Hale through a pitch in the dirt that Realmuto wasn’t able to block, the Cards scored and just like that, the game was over.
Realmuto took the blame for the passed ball, saying it was his job to stop the pitch, no matter where it was, to ensure that he held the runner at third. Looking at the game overall though, he was hardly the one to blame. The best catcher in baseball was visibly upset entering the dugout after the loss and could use a new catchers mask before the Phillies take the field tonight at home against the New York Mets.
The Phillies moved to 4-9 on the road this season and 80-123 since 2018 away from Citizens Bank Park. Chase Anderson (0-3, 6.48 ERA) will get the start tonight against the New York Mets. He will face Marcus Stroman (3-1, 2.25 ERA). Anderson is 0-1 with a 4.00 ERA in two starts this season against the Mets.
Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY