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Realmuto improvises with helmet during ASG

Phillies' catcher goes hitless vs. two AL closers
@goodforball
July 10, 2019

Forget about J.T. Realmuto’s hitless night at Tuesday’s All-Star Game presented by Mastercard, in which the American League edged the National League, 4-3. Give him credit for resourcefulness. Realmuto couldn’t find his Phillies batting helmet before the Midsummer Classic at Progressive Field in Cleveland, and it remained missing throughout the

Forget about J.T. Realmuto’s hitless night at Tuesday’s All-Star Game presented by Mastercard, in which the American League edged the National League, 4-3. Give him credit for resourcefulness.

Realmuto couldn’t find his Phillies batting helmet before the Midsummer Classic at Progressive Field in Cleveland, and it remained missing throughout the game. But when Realmuto’s turn to bat came in the seventh inning, he stood tall and proud in the batter’s box with that familiar, stylized “P” on his helmet, representing the Phillies, their fans and the city of Philadelphia.

How did that happen? Well, as Realmuto related, he managed to secure a Phillies sticker and apply it to the helmet belonging to Cardinals shortstop Paul DeJong, whose headgear he borrowed. Few, if anyone, noticed that when DeJong was on base in the eighth inning, Realmuto wore Brewers catcher Yasmani Grandal’s helmet when he was on deck.

Realmuto’s industriousness was fruitless, however, as he went 0-for-2 in his second All-Star Game appearance.

Facing one closer is challenging enough for a hitter. Confronting two closers in one game is virtually unfair, but that was Realmuto’s fate.

Realmuto represented the potential tying run as he led off in the ninth inning, but struck out on three pitches against Yankees flamethrower Aroldis Chapman, whose strike-three pitch was recorded at 100 mph.

“That wasn’t fun,” Realmuto said. “I wish I would have done a little better and fouled a couple off.”

In the seventh inning, against Tigers closer Shane Greene, Realmuto had a lengthy at-bat. With one out, he worked the count full and fouled off a pitch before popping up to first base.

Realmuto will now receive a couple of days of rest before the Phillies resume the season Friday at home against the Nationals.

“We’re ready for a big second half,” Realmuto said. “We have to play better. Say healthy, get on a roll, get yourself to the playoffs and a lot of things can happen.”

Chris Haft has covered the Major Leagues since 1991 and has worked for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @goodforball.