Phillies’ loss worst of its kind since 2000

August 21st, 2020

Game 2 of Thursday’s doubleheader between the Phillies and Blue Jays was limited to seven innings, but the two clubs fit a lot of history into the time they had.

Philadelphia seemed assured of a doubleheader split when it scored seven runs in the first inning and carried a 7-2 lead into the bottom half of the sixth.

But Toronto had other ideas.

Rowdy Tellez crushed a 117.5 mph home run -- the Blue Jays’ hardest since Statcast began tracking in 2015 -- for Toronto’s third run. Lourdes Gurriel soon followed with a three-run dinger to trim the lead to one, and then after a wild pitch scored Cavan Biggio, Tellez, in his second at-bat of the inning, knocked in two more runs with a single to give the Blue Jays an improbable two-run lead.

J.T. Realmuto’s RBI single in the top half of the seventh was all the Phillies could muster in response, and then it was over. The Blue Jays walked away with an incredible 9-8 win and the doubleheader sweep.

The initial insult of the Phillies’ loss was made much worse by the historical context that soon came flooding in. According to baseball researcher Doug Kern, the Phillies became the first team since the Royals on Aug. 23, 2006, to lose a game after scoring at least seven runs in the first inning -- and the first team to do so on the road since the Indians at Fenway Park on Sept. 21, 2000.

To find the last time the Phillies franchise lost after scoring at least seven opening-frame runs, one would have to go all the way back to May 5, 1970, when the Phils jumped on the Padres, 7-0, but eventually lost, 11-8. And they had never lost a game that way on the road in the modern era, until Thursday.

The beautiful thing about baseball, even in a 60-game season, is that there’s always tomorrow to go out and reverse the tide. Certainly, the Phillies can’t wait to get back on the field Friday in Atlanta and write some new history.