August 7, 2013
Box Score (from ESPN.com)
By Nick Tricome
It would have made the story of the night even better.
In the midst of reports that Chase Utley had reached a contract extension with the Phillies, he came in to pinch-hit in the seventh, with John Mayberry Jr. at third, and ripped a single into center to score Mayberry and tie the game 2-2.
Utley would try to score from second off a Kevin Frandsen single with one out, but Cubs catcher Dioner Navarro got the throw home and tagged him out at the plate. However, it was at the cost of getting knocked out of the game with an injury, after Utley slid and collided into Navarro at the plate.
The whole thing could have resulted in the Phillies taking the lead late in the game, but it ended up with Navarro taking one for the team in order to preserve the tie, which eventually led to the Cubs taking Wednesday night's game 5-2.
Cole Hamels got the start on Wednesday night and put in a solid outing for the Phillies, allowing just two earned runs and six hits in seven innings.
Those two runs were from a solo home run by Chicago third baseman Donnie Murphy in the third and an RBI single by centerfielder Junior Lake in the fifth.
Hamels has allowed more than two earned runs just once in his last seven starts (allowed four on July 20 against the New York Mets).
But for a Phillies team that ranks 25th in the Majors in runs scored this season, two earned runs has proven to be a bit much.
It's also proven tough for the bullpen to keep their team in games. A case that was no different tonight.
Luis Garcia took over for Hamels in the eighth and pitched a scoreless inning. He stayed in for the ninth, but that is where things fell apart.
Garcia walked Welington Castillo, then walked Cody Ransom after David DeJesus struck out.
Ransom would never get a chance to hurt the Phillies though, because Erik Kratz was able to pick him off at first with Cole Gillespie at-bat.
Garcia walked Gillespie to put two base runners on again, then Donnie Murphy stepped up and made him pay.
Murphy hit a three-run homer for his second of the night, giving the Cubs a 5-2 lead.
The Phillies went down in short order in the bottom of the ninth, with Kevin Gregg on the mound earning his 23rd save of the year.
The Phillies will wrap up their home series against the Cubs on Thursday afternoon. Ethan Martin (0-1, 12.46 ERA) will make his second start of the year against Chicago's, and former Notre Dame wide receiver, Jeff Samardzija (6-10, 3.78 ERA).
(Image from CSNPhilly.com and the Associated Press)