By Sam Bush
Make no mistake, Phillies fans.
If they miss out on the wild card playoff spot by even one game, last night’s 4-3 loss to the Jays in Canada will be to blame.
And the four selfish players who are not allowed in Canada because they are unvaccinated for COVID, should be in the cross-hairs of your blame sites.
The Phillies were without J.T. Realmuto, Alec Bohm, Aaron Nola and Kyle Gibson for the opener of the two-game series due to Canadian restrictions on unvaccinated travelers.
Nola started Monday’s night at St. Louis and was not scheduled to pitch against the Blue Jays. Bohm came out of Monday’s game with a dislocated left ring finger.
José Berríos matched his career high by striking out 13 over six innings, Lourdes Gurriel Jr. had four hits, including a go-ahead double in the sixth inning, and the Toronto Blue Jays snapped a four-game losing streak.
“That’s the guy that I saw in Minnesota,” Phillies manager Rob Thomson said of Berríos. “First pitch strikes, using all his pitches and throwing all his pitches for strikes. You’ve got to give him credit. He was really good.”
Blue Jays catcher Danny Jansen, who was activated off the injured list before the game, said he enjoyed catching Berríos in his return.
“He was nasty out there,” Jansen said. “It was a lot of fun.”
Berríos finished a season-high 20 swings and misses, one shy of his career-best.
“That’s always how I’ve seen him pitch,” said Philadelphia shortstop Didi Gregorius, who faced Berríos frequently during his time with the Yankees.
Gurriel singled in the second, doubled and scored in the third, doubled home the go-ahead run in the sixth, and singled in the eighth for the fifth four-hit game of his career and first this season.
Bryson Stott hit a solo home run for the Phillies, who have lost three straight. Jeurys Familia (1-1) allowed one run and four hits in 1 1/3 innings.
Toronto’s Teoscar Hernández hit a two-run double off Phillies opener Andrew Bellatti in the first, but was thrown out trying to stretch his hit into a triple.
Odúbel Herrera halved the deficit with an RBI single in the second and Stott tied it with a two-out drive in the fourth, his fifth, ending Berríos’ streak of five straight strikeouts.
Gurriel and Matt Chapman restored Toronto’s lead with back-to-back doubles off Mark Appel in the fourth before Nick Castellanos tied it at 3 with a two-out RBI single in the fifth.
Gurriel gave the Blue Jays the lead for good with a ground-rule double to left off Familia in the sixth, scoring Alejandro Kirk.