Cody Asche had the best game of his young career in a Phillies uniform – four hits, including a dramatic, game-tying grand slam. It wasn’t quite enough, however, as the Blue Jays rallied for a 6-5 victory in 10 innings.
The five-run rally in the sixth inning was sandwiched by an ugly start and an equally ugly finish. Video of Tuesday night’s game should not be shown to youth baseball teams as a ‘how to play fundamental baseball’ guide. They were the Bad News Bears posing as major leaguers. The ugliness started early.
Marlon Byrd led off the bottom of the third with a double to left. Two batters later, Freddy Galvis hit a weak come-backer to Blue Jays starter Drew Hutchison. Inexplicably, Byrd broke for third, Hutchison caught Byrd in a rundown. As soon as Byrd was tagged, the attention shifted to Galvis who was in no-man’s land halfway between first and second. Ah yes, a leadoff double is followed by a weak pop to center field and the old double-rundown, double play. Cue the circus music.
Galvis was involved again in the fourth inning. After a Jose Bautista leadoff double, Edwin Encarnacion hit a ground ball to shortstop. Second baseman Chase Utley was playing on the shortstop side of second base. Galvis and Utley each thought the other had the ball and let it roll into left field. Miscommunication, indeed, but a play in which the shortstop needs to take charge.
Phillies’ starter Cole Hamels did not pitch well for the second consecutive start. He allowed five runs, on ten hits in his six innings of work, including two long home runs by Encarnacion and Colby Rasmus. Hamels may or may not have been 100%. He was originally scheduled to pitch on Sunday, but had his start pushed back due to flu-like symptoms.
The Phillies’ bats finally received their wake-up call in the sixth inning. The offense had not scored a run since the first inning of Sunday’s 1-0 victory – 21 scoreless innings. Carlos Ruiz, Utley and Ryan Howard started the inning with back-to-back-to-back base hits, making it 5-1. With two outs, John Mayberry pinch hit for Galvis. After falling behind 1-2, he worked a walk to load the bases.
That set the stage for Asche’s heroics. He crushed a high changeup from Hutchison for his first major league grand slam. The 26,057 paying customers suddenly became energized.
The energy didn’t last long as the Phillies went back to putting up zeroes in the run column. The Phillies had a chance for a walk-off win in the bottom of the ninth inning, but Asche was stranded at third base.
Antonio Bastardo was brought in to pitch the tenth inning. True to form, the leadoff batter reached base. Melky Cabrera singled. That was followed by Bautista beating the shift – punching a single through the vacated second base position. First and third, nobody out. With one out, Juan Francisco lofted a fly ball to shallow center field. Ben Revere unleashed a 40-mph changeup - to second base.
Needless to say, the bottom of the tenth was a foregone conclusion. 1-2-3. Thank you for coming. Have a good night! Drive home safely.
Phillies (15-16) at Blue Jays (16-17)
7:07 PM ET
PHI: Lee, LHP (3-2, 3.00 ERA)
TOR: Buehrle, LHP (5-1, 2.25 ERA)
-After Tuesday night’s loss, the Phillies are now 6-9 at home.
-Cody Asche is batting .409 over his last 8 games. (2 HR, 8 RBI, 3 doubles)
-Antonio Bastardo has allowed the first batter to reach 9 of 15 times this season.
-After Tuesday’s 0-2, Freddy Galvis has a batting average of .053 (2-38) and a .150 OPS.