PHILADELPHIA -- It could have been another loss that lived in Phillies’ infamy.
But then they already have plenty of those.
McCutchen hit two home runs, Miller hit a three-run home run, Nola threw 114 pitches in six innings and Coonrod earned a five-out save on a night the Phillies had a depleted bullpen before they failed to add a new reliever to the lineup card.
Well, they failed to add a new reliever to the only lineup card that mattered: the umpires’ card.
“I’m livid with myself,” Phillies manager Joe Girardi said. “It’s just stupid on my part.”
The Phillies instead made the mistake a bizarre footnote in an early May game.
Imagine if they had not.
“There’s a lot of should’ve, would’ve, could’ves in this game,” McCutchen said. “It didn’t happen, so I don’t think about it.”
McCutchen hit a leadoff homer in the first inning and a solo homer in the third. It was his second leadoff homer in three games. It was his first multi-homer game since Sept. 26, 2017. Miller hit a three-run homer into the second deck in right field in the third to make it 6-1.
Nola allowed one run in six innings. Girardi planned to have right-hander Enyel De Los Santos pitch the seventh. The Phillies announced his promotion from Triple-A Lehigh Valley at 5:19 p.m. ET, a little less than two hours before the game. They informed him about the promotion about five hours before first pitch.
They had plenty of time to make everything right. But De Los Santos wasn’t on the umpires’ card, so he could not pitch. (The Phillies still had left-hander Cristopher Sánchez on theirs. He was demoted in the afternoon and pitched two scoreless innings Tuesday night for Lehigh Valley.)
The mix-up had shades of the June 2015 game in Baltimore when the Phillies had their bullpen phone off the hook, forcing former pitching coach Bob McClure to wave a white towel as he tried to gain the attention of former bullpen coach Rod Nichols, and the March 2018 game in Atlanta, when former manager Gabe Kapler summoned Hoby Milner into the game despite the fact he had not thrown a warmup pitch.
“Every day we submit the lineup, it goes to Major League Baseball, the roster,” Girardi said. “We made a roster change and I just didn’t catch it. Ultimately, it falls on me because I didn’t catch it. But then they reproduce and send the cards to us and we print them out. I didn’t notice that De Los Santos wasn’t on there. I tell you, I look at them all the time. I look at the cards and I count the people. Starting pitcher is on there twice and you make sure you have 26 people. I missed it today.”
Something similar happened to both the Yankees and Blue Jays last season. It happened to the Brewers earlier this season, too. They made a roster move before a game and tried to bring in reliever Angel Perdomo, but he wasn’t on the umpires’ card.
But here is the really crazy thing: De Los Santos was on the Brewers’ lineup card on Tuesday.
“Honestly, I kind of thought that the system needed to change a little bit because, you know, we actually had the correct card, but somehow the umpires didn't,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “So I'm not sure. It's all when it gets printed out and kind of the time ... what time the umpires’ card got printed out, and so it seems like there's a better system that probably could be put in place."
David Hale entered the game and ignited a four-run rally. Jackie Bradley Jr. hit a two-run homer off left-hander JoJo Romero to make it 6-5. (Odúbel Herrera got his foot stuck in the center-field fence trying to catch it. Matt Joyce pulled him loose.) Romero recorded the first out in the eighth and Coonrod pitched the rest of the way.
“We’ve just got to pick up our coaching staff whenever that happens,” Coonrod said. “It wasn’t a big deal. We just came in and picked each other up.”