Coming off a split w/ the Brewers where the Phillies bats seemed to wake up a bit, they faced a daunting task in facing the Chicago Cubs LHP Jon Lester (6-3, 2.26 ERA). It was up to LHP Adam Morgan (1-4 7.07) to try to hold down this potent Cubs offense, and give them a chance. he pitched well, but like so many games against the Phillies (5-0 with a 1.71 ERA in 7 career starts) Lester held them in check for 8 innings to help fend off a late charge by the suddenly Phightins’ 6-4.
Cubs got right after Morgan scoring on 2 doubles in the 1st – the 2nd was was yet another fan interference call that turned a 3b into two. Not sure what is in the beer @ CBP lately but there have been 3 FI’s in the last few days that could easily have been avoided. /end rant. Meanwhile back at the game, the Cubs wound up sending 7 men to the plate on an assortment of hits, long and short, but only got the one run as Morgan got two swinging K’s to end the inning.
A Jason Heyward LD HR to RF (3, 100th career) w/ 2 outs, made it 3-0 in the 4th after Morgan gave up a one out double to previously .048 Lester, aided by a Ben Reveresque route to the ball by Jimmy Paredes. At least it was a good pitcher in Lester that set the Phillies down inning after inning – 3 H thru 6, having retired 13 in a row at that point, 8 ks, 3 on Freddy Galvis alone.
Morgan was pulled after 6, giving up the 3 runs, all earned, on 8h, 5 k’s but no BB’s, as Pete Mackanin tried to get some offense against Lester. It was a QS for Adam, but against Lester he might as well have given up a dozen. Morgan was actually looking better the last couple innings but was at 98 pitches due to a lot thrown early.
As befits a team that is going well, the Cubs balls in play had eyes all night, as they scored 2 more in the 7th on another melange of those eyeballs, including a nice safety squeeze by 2009 Villanova Football National Champion Matt Szczur. Those two runs came off of Elvis Araujo. Phillies did get a hit after the stretch, their 1st since two out in the 2nd, by Tommy Joseph, but Maikel Franco then hit into a DP, and that went by the way-side.
Top 9 Chicago did it again and put another run on the board to make it 6-0 Cubs on 2 hits. Brett Oberholtzer gave up that one. Those extra runs really meant a lot for the Cubs as the Phils made it interesting putting up 4 in the 9th when at least we got to as Galvis got some redemption w/ a 3 run shot to RF off of Justin Grimm who had relieved Lester. Joseph followed w/ a rainbow just over the CF wall to make it 6-4 Cubs, as the 1st batter against Cubs closer Hector Rondon. But that was all they could muster in the too little too late rally.
Lester (7-3) earned the W on 8 innings, 4H, 9 ks, no BB’s. Thanks to the Grimm’s runs let in, Rondon got his 11th S. Morgan drops to 1-5 w/ the L.
End Notes: Melange edition
Phillies starters lately are just throwing way too many pitches early. Morgan was @ 60 pitches on the nose thru 3.
Peter Bourjos broke an 0-15 w/ a bunt single in the 2nd, the last hit for the Phils until the 7th.
Cubs got their 21st W of 5 runs or more. They are now 40 – 16 for their best start since 1907.
Phillies are 0-8 on Mondays, 13 going back to last July, and have lost all 4 games so far against the Cubs
Next Ups: RHP Jerad Eickhoff (2-8, 3.93) vs Kyle Hendricks (4-4, 2.84) @ 7:05. I will hand the rest of the week over to the stellar PattisonAve team, but will be back Live Tweeting the Phillies 2 draft picks 1st overall and 1st in the 2nd round – 42nd overall, on Thursday night, as well a short story about the two picks afterwards.