The Phillies stormed back from a five-run deficit to beat the Cubs 6-5 at Wrigley Field on Friday afternoon in Ryne Sandberg‘s managerial debut in his old stomping grounds. Michael Young had the decisive hit, a two-out flare into right field in the ninth inning that scored Roger Bernadina and put the Phillies up for good. The go-ahead single was the exclamation point on a great day for Young. Starting at third, Young tallied four hits, two RBIs and scored a run. It was the second time this season the Phillies have come from five behind to win, the first time being on June 14 in Colorado.
The Cubs jumped on a wild and ineffective Roy Halladay early to take a 5-0 lead. The Phillies offense, behind two big Kevin Frandsen hits, came to life in the sixth and seventh innings while the bullpen shut down the Cubs over the game’s final four innings to seal the win. Jonathan Papelbon nailed down his 23rd save of the season in the ninth.
DOC ALL OVER THE PLACE AT WRIGLEY
- In short, Halladay looked awful on Friday afternoon in an outing that was very reminiscent of the worrisome starts we saw from him in March and April. For the day, Doc lasted only five innings, giving up five runs on seven hits and two walks. He lacked command with all of his pitches, and his fastball sat between 85-87 miles-per-hour throughout the start. He threw 77 pitches, only 48 of which went for strikes. Not good.
- While he only gave up one run in the first three innings – an Anthony Rizzo wind-aided home run in the first – Doc was more effectively wild than he was effective in the early going. Eventually it would catch up with him, as Nate Schierholtz hit a screaming liner over the right field fence to lead off the fourth to make it 2-0. The Cubs added five more hits and a walk in the next two innings – the biggest of which was a two-run Starlin Castro double – to make it 5-0 through five.
- The complete lack of control was the most troubling element of Halladay’s start. Doc defined wild on Friday. He not only walked two and hit two batters in his five innings, but he almost killed Samardzija in the fifth, who somehow got a bunt down on the play, and then unintentionally threw behind Junior Lake after Castro’s big double.
PHILLIES OFFENSE COMES ALIVE IN SIXTH
- For the first five innings, the Phillies had no answer for Cubs starter Jeff Samardzija. They managed only two singles through five against the imposing Notre Dame product, striking out six times. Samardzija set down 11 straight Phillies hitters headed into the sixth.
- The light went on for the Phillies offense in the sixth inning, as they pounded out four straight hits, the last of which was a two-run triple off the bat of Chase Utley that cut the lead to 5-3. Brown followed Utley’s knock with an RBI groundout that made it a one-run game. Frandsen, who had tripled to lead off the sixth, tied the game at five with a homer in the seventh. For those counting, that was seven total bases in less than two innings for Frandsen. Samardzija was pulled shortly thereafter.
- After notching his 81st RBI of the season on a sixth inning groundout, Brown was removed from the game after he ran gingerly to first. Dom also seemed to be favoring his sore right heel in the outfield earlier in the game. Today was his second start in a row after the injury forced him out of the starting lineup for five straight. There were reports late in the game that Brown is considered day-to-day with a sore right Achilles.
MAYBERRY NAILS NAVARRO AT HOME
- John Mayberry Jr. preserved a 5-5 tie in the seventh when he threw out Dioner Navarro at home after a two-out Darnell McDonald single. It wasn’t a particularly good throw by Mayberry, but the molasses-slow Navarro was still somehow unable to beat it.
DID YOU NOTICE?
- Bernadina made an awkward, half-sliding catch on a sinking line drive off the bat of Nate Schierholtz in the second inning. The ball was hit right at Bernadina who reacted a tad late but recovered in time to make a sliding basket catch that prevented the Cubs from getting the lead-off man on base. I’m not really a Bernadina guy (who is?), but his defense has been impressive in his time with the Phillies.
- Speaking of Schierholtz, the former Phillie hit his 20th home run of the season off Halladay in the fourth inning. He went one-for-four on the day with a walk and is currently hitting .266/.319/.507 in 2013. Schierholtz made only $2.25 million this season and is under Cubs control next year. He will likely receive a hefty raise in arbitration, but should still be reasonably priced. Rube… oof.
- The wind was in full force at Wrigley Field on Friday afternoon. Not only did it help Rizzo’s homer in the first, but it also made life miserable for Phillies outfielders all day. Brown, playing leftfield, was barely able to haul in a Donnie Murphy fly ball in the second. Two innings later, the wind turned another Murphy fly ball into a double. Murphy would later come in to score on Castro’s double.
- Jake Diekman’s had an encouraging August, but he didn’t look very good in the seventh inning. He walked Schierholtz (remember him?) on five pitches, struck out Murphy and then was bailed out by Navarro’s unbelievable slowness on the play at the plate. Still, Diekman entered Friday with a 2.08 ERA in 13 August innings that saw him strike out 15 and allow only five hits. The Phils entered 2013 with what we thought was a slew of talented but unproven young arms in the pen. Diekman is really the only one who came even close to delivering on that promise.