Phillies Postseason Hopes Still Have a Pulse

What started off on Tuesday night as another massive disappointment, would up being a success come Thursday. After dropping the first game to a Cubs team just entering a long rebuild phase, many fans were less than optimistic about their wildly inconsistent ball club and their postseason chances. But the last two games provided some hope, both of which were won in some....interesting ways.

Game 1: Phillies 3, Cubs 6

Center fielder Odúbel Herrera kicked off the Phillies offense in the 1st inning with a solo shot to right field, his 13th of the campaign.

Phillies starter Kyle Gibson was perfect through 4, but had a very difficult 5th frame. In what ended up being his final inning, he allowed 4 runs and 5 hits, including a pair of home runs to Patrick Wisdom and Alfonso Rivas.

Cubs starter Adrian Sampson pitched well after the leadoff home run by Herrera, getting out of danger by spinning three double plays. Through 5, the Phillies offense was held in check.

The bats woke up a bit in the 6th. They pieced together 3 hits, including a pair of doubles from Jean Segura and Bryce Harper, both of which came across to score to make it a 4-3 game heading into the 7th.

But the offense went silently, without getting a single man to reach base in the final 3 frames. The loss dropped them back to .500 once again, and another prime opportunity to make up ground in the standings against clearly inferior opponents was being wasted.

Game 2: Phillies 6, Cubs 5

Ranger Suárez took the bump in the second matchup, and gave the team 6 masterful innings, only allowing 2 runs while striking out 8. He even had a leadoff double and later came around to score.

The Phillies offense scored 4 total runs in the 4th and 5th innings, half of which coming on a Freddy Galvis two-run home run.

But the bullpen would blow another late lead, this time it being José Alvarado. On one swing of the bat from Robinson Chirinos, their 2-run lead disappeared in the top of the 8th inning. That is, until JT Realmuto went yard to kick off the bottom half of the inning to re-gain a 5-4 lead.

In the top of the 9th inning, Ian Kennedy came in to protect the lead. And on his first batter, surrendered a home run to Matt Duffy that completely took the air out of the stadium. Just like that, it was all tied again. Their second blown save in as many innings.

Andrew Knapp led off the Phillies 9th with a single, and was subsequently advanced to third on a Mickey Moniak sacrifice bunt and an Odúbel Herrera groundout. The batter was Jean Segura, and a 2-0 breaking ball from Cubs pitcher Trevor Megill deflected off the catcher's mitt and allowed Knapp to score from third.

That was the ballgame, ending on a walk-off wild pitch.

Game 3: Phillies 17, Cubs 8

This would be the glorious bullpen game once every 5 nights, and with disastrous performances from Matt Moore and JD Hammer, the Phillies were staring a 7-0 deficit in the face in just the 3rd inning.

But in the bottom half of the 4th, the Phillies just kept chipping away. Andrew McCutchen two-run double. Matt Joyce bases loaded walk. Odúbel Herrera single. Jean Segura force out. And finally, a JT Realmuto two-run single. All in one inning. And after 4, it was a brand new game.

They would continue to tack on runs the rest of the night, up until a towering three-run home run off the bat of Bryce Harper that blew the game wide open. Harper would finish the day with 2 doubles, 2 homer, 1 walk, 3 runs, and 4 RBIs.

The Phillies will travel up to Queens for a huge series against the Mets. Just like the Phillies, Atlanta also dropped both of their games against the Colorado Rockies before the finale was rained out. They still sit 3 games up on the Phillies (5.5 games up on the Mets), but the Braves travel out to San Francisco to play the league-leading Giants. If the Phillies can take care of business against an old foe, they could find themselves competing for the top spot in the NL East soon.

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