The Philadelphia Phillies had a close call against the Chicago Cubs again on Tuesday, but this time they were on the losing side as they blew a 2-1 lead in the 9th. The Cubs put runners on 2nd and 3rd with Wilson Contreras at the plate. He lined out to right field, with the Phillies botching a fielder’s choice against Albert Almora.
Javier Baez made no mistake in the next at-bat, as he singled in the winner for a 3-2 victory. Hard loss for the Phillies to take, but 9th inning collapses are just the norm in baseball nowadays. It’s to be expected more often than not now with 1-run leads basically meaning diddly.
Philadelphia dropped to 28-20 with the loss, but they still hold a 2-game lead in the NL East. That could be a blown game that could come back to haunt them later in the season, though. It doesn’t seem so significant now, but losses like they can add up by the end of the year. The Cubs took advantage of a loss by the Brewers on Tuesday to win and grab a 2-game lead in the NL Central.
The Cubs are going to have the Brewers breathing down their neck all season. Every win is important and that’s a nice response Tuesday after a loss in extras the night before. Baez was out with a heel injury and only made an appearance as a pinch hitter.
All he needed was one at-bat to make a huge impact last night. There are no indications whether he will be in the starting lineup tonight, but he will likely be available to pinch hit again at least. It’s the youngster against the veteran and Cole vs. Cole this evening, as rookie Cole Irvin will look to top Cole Hamels at Wrigley Field. Head below for our free Phillies vs. Cubs pick.
Philadelphia Phillies vs. Chicago Cubs Pick:
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Cole Irvin has done a pretty fine job as a rookie coming from the minors to make an immediate impact with the Phillies. After 36 innings with an ERA of 2.25 in Lehigh Valley of Triple-A, Ervin has carried that success over into the major leagues. In two starts, Irvin holds an ERA of 2.77 against the Royals and Rockies. His best outing was against the Royals, so that isn’t the stingiest challenge.
He allowed 5 hits and 1 run in 7 innings against the Royals, and followed it up with 3 earned runs and 5 hits in 6 innings against Colorado. It’s too early to draw any conclusions about Irvin despite a decent start to his MLB career. However, he likely has a bright future and the Phillies have a decision to make when Nick Pivetta returns from injury. If he keeps pitching well, it’s hard to envision them toying with the rotation and taking Ervin out. Pivetta may go to the bullpen and have to be prepared to get the call back up as a starter.
Ervin will pitch in a tricky environment for the first time in his major league career. Wrigley is not what most pitchers would consider one of the easier parks to find outs in. Cole Hamels hasn’t had any issues pitching at home, though.
Hamels goes into Wednesday with an ERA of 2.73 and 0.99 WHIP at Wrigley. He hasn’t allowed more than 3 runs at home and has given up only 8 runs in 26.1 innings. The Cubs are solid at home as a team as well with a record of 16-7. Overall, Hamels has been able to pitch from everywhere recently, as he has prevented more than 3 runs scored in eight straight starts. I like Hamels to teach the rookie a thing or two Wednesday and get the Cubs another win over the Phillies.