By Sam Bush
The Phillies blew an excellent opportunity to beat a contender last night and creep up in their playoff push.
Instead, they lost on a night when the Braves did too, and the Phils are still 2 1/2 games behind in NL East and 3 behind the Pads for the wild card.
And again, as it has been all year, the bullpen is to blame.
With the Phillies, it’s always the bullpen.
Eduardo Escobar hit a tiebreaking homer off reliever Connor Brogdon in the sixth inning, and the Brewers topped the Phillies 4-3.
Escobar drove an 0-1 pitch from Brogdon (5-4) deep to right for his 25th homer. The infielder was acquired in a July trade with Arizona.
Escobar, on the injured list from Aug. 24 through Sept. 2, homered for the first time since Aug. 2. In 17 career games against Philadelphia, Escobar is batting .356 (21 for 59) with four homers and 22 RBI.
Bryce Harper hit his 29th homer for the Phillies in the first, but Milwaukee responded with two runs in the bottom half.
Kolten Wong singled and scored on Omar Narváez’s one-out double off Kyle Gibson. Consecutive walks by Luis Urias and Daniel Vogelbach forced in another run.
Kyle Gibson escaped the bases-loaded jam by striking out Lorenzo Cain and Jackie Bradley Jr.
The Brewers made it 3-1 in the second when Peralta singled, moved to third on Wong’s double and scored on Christian Yelich’s infield hit.
The Phils tied it with two unearned runs in third. The Phillies loaded the bases on singles by Travis Jankowski and Odubel Herrera around an error on Gibson’s attempted sacrifice bunt. Harper walked to force in a run and J.T. Realmuto followed with an RBI fielder’s choice.
“This is one of those games, yeah, it would be great to have, but that’s a really good team over there and more than likely the team that we’re going to see in October when we get there,” Gibson said. “So, to play them pretty tight, to have multiple chances there in the last two innings against their best guys, you really can’t ask for anything else.”