The Philadelphia Phillies could be in a bad mood when they visit the St. Louis Cardinals on Thursday afternoon for the finale of their four-game series.
Cardinals reliever Genesis Cabrera hit Bryce Harper in the face and Didi Gregorius in the back of his ribcage on consecutive pitches Wednesday night. Harper left the game under his own power and eased the concern of fans after the game with a social media post.
“Everything feels good,” “Everything came back good, CT (scan), all that kind of stuff,” Harper said via Instagram. “My face is still there. We’re all good. See you guys soon.”
After Gregorius was hit, the umpires warned both teams against retaliation. This set off Phillies manager Joe Girardi, whose theatrical protest earned him an ejection.
Girardi wanted Cabrera tossed from the game, but the umpires left him in to satisfy the three-batter minimum rule.
“If a guy hits a guy in the face and a guy in the ribs with two pitches, he’s got to go,” Girardi said.
“Another example of obviously our skipper going to bat for us,” Phillies utility player Brad Miller said. “You talk about showing fight, sticking up for your guys. That’s exactly what our skipper did for us.”
He also offered some choice words for Cabrera while leaving the field — which drew a retort from Cardinals manager Mike Shildt in the moment.
“Just an unfortunate scenario,” Shildt said after the game. “I completely understand their aggressive response. Joe handled it appropriately.”
The game continued without further incident as the Phillies rallied for the 5-3 victory.
Aaron Nola (2-1, 2.84 ERA) will pitch the finale at Busch Stadium. He would love to match his previous performance against the Cardinals, when he threw a two-hit shutout at the Cardinals on April 18.
He struck out 10 batters and walked none in the 2-0 victory.
Nola is 5-2 with a 1.90 ERA in seven career starts against the Cardinals. He has had success against Matt Carpenter (3-for-19, nine strikeouts), Paul Goldschmidt (3-for-14, five strikeouts), Tommy Edman (0-for-4), Austin Dean (0-for-4) and Justin Williams (0-for-3).
In his previous start this season, Nola allowed four runs on six hits in seven innings of a 7-5 victory over the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field on April 24.
The Cardinals will counter Kwang Hyun Kim (1-0, 4.15 ERA), who will make his first career start against the Phillies.
After allowing three runs in three innings in his first start after recovering from a back injury, Kim settled in during a 5-4 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on April 23.
He allowed one run on five hits in 5 2/3 innings while striking out a career-high eight batters in that game.
As a rookie last season Kim was 3-0 with a 1.62 ERA in eight appearances, including seven starts. But he struggled during spring training before beingshut down with a lower back strain.
“I have this kind of stress going on that I have to be good,” Kim said through an interpreter. “Even though last year was a short season, it was a successful season.
“This season, I want to do well as last season, so that made me pitch harder, and my expectations were high during spring training. I think that was the reason I kind of struggled.”
–Field Level Media