In the first-ever battle between starting pitchers named "Cole" in MLB history, the Philadelphia Phillies' (28-21) Cole Irvin ultimately fell to the Chicago Cubs (29-18) and 2008 World Series MVP Cole Hamels.
Irvin suffered his first loss (third career start) — while Hamels tossed a no-decision in his first career appearance against his former club — as the Cubs topped the Phillies for the second straight game, 8-4, Wednesday evening at Wrigley Field. All eight of the Cubs' runs were produced via a home run (three total).
The Phillies left 12 runners on base, including eight over their first four against Hamels; they will look to salvage the four-game series in Thursday afternoon's finale.
Phillies leadoff batter Andrew McCutchen began the game against Hamels with a double, his 11th; Rhys Hoskins walked two batters later. Both runners could have advanced to third on a would-be wild pitch, and it ultimately cost the team a run because of it. The next batter, J.T. Realmuto, hit a ground rule RBI double into the right center ivy, allowing only the leading runner to score. Cesar Hernandez struck out for the final out, stranding Hoskins on third.
The Phillies added two insurance runs in the third, improving their lead to 3-0. Jean Segura extended his MLB-best hitting streak to 13 games, to lead off the inning, with a double to left center — the Phillies' third double of the game already at that point. After Bryce Harper reached on just his 12th career bunt for a base hit, Hoskins snapped his 0-for-12 skid with a RBI single to center. Two batters later, Hernandez extended his own hitting streak to six games with another RBI single to center, marking the switch-hitter's 10th hit over a 22 at-bat stretch.
The Cubs evened the game at three the next half-inning; after Kyle Schwarber and Kris Bryant each singled, Anthony Rizzo followed by launching a three-run blast to right. The home run was the first time since 2012 that Rizzo homered on a 3-0 pitch.
Destroyed. 😳 pic.twitter.com/OWoR0P5juR— MLB (@MLB) May 23, 2019
Hamels was pulled after throwing just four innings and 99 pitches; he allowed nine hits, three runs and two walks, while striking out six batters and inducing 18 swinging strikes, four ground balls and two fly balls.
The Cubs blew the game open in the fifth; with two outs and Bryant (double) on third, Rizzo (walk) on second and Willson Contreras (walk) on first, Albert Almora launched his first career grand slam to center. Irvin was pulled in favor of fellow rookie RHP Edgar Garcia, who entered the game with Odubel Herrera on a double-switch and recorded the last out of the frame. Javier Baez extended the Cubs lead in the seventh with a home run opposite RHP Enyel De Los Santos.
Irvin surrendered seven runs on as many hits, three walks and two home runs spanning just 4 2/3 innings; he tossed 84 pitches (50 strikes) en route to his first career losing decision.
McCutchen trimmed the Cubs advantage to 8-4 in the eighth with a solo home run, his seventh; he finished the game going 3-for-5 with two runs scored and a single, double, home run, and strikeout.
- Hamels threw 33 pitches in the opening frame, marking just the fifth time in the last five years he threw 30 or more pitches in the first inning. After three innings, Hamels' pitch count rose to 73. Through four, Irvin had thrown 59 pitches, while Hamels tossed 99.
- Irvin laced his first career MLB hit to center field, opposite Hamels, with two outs in the second inning. Ten days ago, Irvin debuted exactly 13 years after Hamels likewise did with the Phillies.
- Hamels' nine hits allowed tied for his most-ever allowed at Wrigley Field through 17 career starts at the venue. His previously allowed nine hits at the venue during his first such start as a rookie on August 24, 2006.
- Tyler Chatwood tossed four innings in relief of Hamels and earned the win. Steve Cishek recorded the final three outs en route to the Cubs' 17th home win and 29th win overall.
- The Phillies outhit the Cubs, 13-8.
- Harper collected three hits, all singles — his third game in a Phillies uniform with more than two hits.
- Phillies 2019 season series record: 9-4-2; the club has not won a series at Wrigley Field since July 24-26, 2015.