Before I begin the recap of the Cubs’ 17-8 loss to the Phillies Thursday evening, here is an important message [VIDEO].
As it says in the dek to this recap:
Déjà vu... That strange feeling we sometimes get that we’ve lived through something before.
Now you KNOW you have seen this game before. In Milwaukee, to be specific, on June 30. The Cubs took a 7-0 lead in that one, too, only to give up 15 unanswered runs and lose. Sure, great, this time they scored eight. That means, if this “pattern” holds, that it should only be around four more years until they can take a 7-0 lead and win 16-15.
Yes, that’s ridiculous. So was this game. Our friends at The Good Phight summed it all up:
Holy crap these teams are bad— The Good Phight (@TheGoodPhight) September 17, 2021
I mean, I could stop this recap right there, that’s a six-word summary of this game that encompasses pretty much everything.
But you came here for a recap of a Cubs baseball game and by gum, you are going to get one, at least some of it, because I’m certainly not going to give you details of all the Phillies hits and runs.
The Cubs’ seven-run third inning was fun, for sure. The sequence of plate appearances went this way: Walk, sacrifice bunt, walk, pitching change, walk, hit by pitch, single, double, strikeout, home run, single, single, groundout.
Here are the scoring plays from that inning.
Ian Happ, bases-loaded HBP [VIDEO]
Willson Contreras, RBI single [VIDEO]
Patrick Wisdom, two-run double [VIDEO]
Matt Duffy, three-run homer [VIDEO]
Duffy, in particular, has been a hot hitter recently. Last nine games: .324/.324/.706 (11-for-34) with a double and four home runs.
7-0! What could possibly...
Yeah, I know. You’ve heard that line way too many times this year. The Phillies had a seven-run inning of their own in the fourth and I will spare you the carnage, I’ll just note that Kyle Hendricks, after throwing pretty well over the first three innings, just got pounded in the fourth. The last two runs scored after he left the game, on a two-run single by J.T. Realmuto off Michael Rucker. Rucker is someone I don’t think will be a member of the Chicago Cubs in 2022.
Three more runs scored in the sixth off Manuel Rodriguez, all unearned due to Rodriguez’ fielding error.
Willson Contreras then homered in the top of the seventh to bring the Cubs to within two runs [VIDEO].
So am I telling you there was a chance? For a couple of minutes, maybe, but then the Phillies scored five more in the bottom of the inning. Four of those runs were charged to Tommy Nance, though two of those were not his fault. Two runners were on base with one out in the inning and two runs already in when Bryce Harper came to the plate.
Now, in modern baseball no one lets a righthanded pitcher face Harper in that situation, so David Ross called on Rex Brothers.
You could have predicted the result before Brothers threw a single pitch.
#Cubs 8 @ #Phillies 15 [B7-1o]:— Home Run Tracker (@DingerTracker) September 17, 2021
Bryce Harper homers (33): fly ball to RCF (3-run)
Hit: 432ft, 112.2mph , 25°
Pitch: 82.2mph Slider (LHP Rex Brothers, 9)
Rex Brothers is yet another pitcher who will not be on this team in 2022. Frankly, he shouldn’t be on this team now — isn’t there some lefthander in the system who could do better than this? Brothers in 24 appearances since June 30: 8.74 ERA, 1.721 WHIP, six home runs in 22⅔ innings. The first game of those 24 was the 15-7 mess in Milwaukee, and that’s probably not a coincidence.
Adam Morgan should be returning from the paternity list Friday. That’d be a good time to DFA Brothers. I am sure Rex is a good person and is nice to his mom and loves animals, but I do not want to see him pitch for the Chicago Cubs anymore.
Dillon Maples, still another human being who will likely not be a Chicago Cub in 2022, gave the Phillies two more in the eighth to complete the scoring.
Really, all you can do is laugh after one of these. Go watch the Monty Python video at the top of this recap if you haven’t already, that’ll give you some humor, something we all desperately need.
One last note about this game: Frank Schwindel had two more hits. That’s the eighth time Frank the Tank has had a multi-hit game in 14 September games and this month he’s hitting .407/.453/.763 (24-for-59) with three doubles, six home runs and only five strikeouts. At one point during those 14 games he went 32 plate appearances between strikeouts. Schwindel already has a NL Player of the Week award this month; keep that up and he could be a candidate for NL Player of the Month for September.
Is this real? Likely not, his BABIP this month is .375 and that’s probably going to come down to Earth. But he has at least put himself in the conversation for a full-time slot with this team in 2022. It’s nice to see, he always has a smile on his face and appears to be having the time of his life.
The Cubs completed their 2022 schedule against NL East teams with this loss. They went 13-21 overall against East clubs.
And in case you were wondering:
Tonight marks the 3rd time this year the Cubs have blown at least a 6-0 lead.— Meghan Montemurro (@M_Montemurro) September 17, 2021
June 30 at Brewers: led 7-0 after top 1st, lost 15-7
Aug. 27 at White Sox: led 6-0 after top 1st, lost 17-13
Tonight at Phillies: led 7-0 after top 3rd, TBD
The Phillies trailed 7-0 in this game and are leading 12-8, now— Sarah Langs (@SlangsOnSports) September 17, 2021
They already won a game they trailed by 7 on 7/29 this season
Last time PHI won multiple games in a season after trailing by 7+ at any point: 1998, 2 games
The @Phillies are the first NL team in the modern era to trail by 7+ runs in a game but end up winning by 9+ runs.— Stats By STATS (@StatsBySTATS) September 17, 2021
Cubs on June 30: led 7-0, lost 15-7— Stats By STATS (@StatsBySTATS) September 17, 2021
Cubs tonight: led 7-0, lost 17-8
They are the only MLB team in the modern era to have 2 games in a season where they led by 7+ runs only to lose by 7+ runs.
I suppose that’s enough of that. Onward!
This weekend won’t be any easier for the Cubs. They are in Milwaukee to take on the Brewers. Former Brewer Zach Davies will start for the Cubs and Adrian Houser is the scheduled starter for Milwaukee. Game time is 7:10 p.m. CT and TV coverage will be via Marquee Sports Network.