Philadelphia Phillies Nick Castellanos boils over after Cubs beat Phillies 6-2 in 10

PHILADELPHIA — Nick Castellanos’ first season in Philadelphia was a struggle, and his frustration boiled over Saturday night.

Nico Hoerner scored early and scored the deciding run in a five-run 10th inning that sent the Chicago Cubs to a 6-2 win over the Castellanos and the Phillies.

Castellanos was booed by many in the crowd of 38,542 during another tough night at the plate. The outfielder signed a five-year, $100 million deal in the offseason after battling for Cincinnati with 34 homers and 100 RBI to .309 last season. But his average fell to a .245 after going 0-4 with a strikeout against the Cubs. He has eight homers and 46 RBI.

“It is what it is, man. I don’t have to give an opinion on that,” said Castellanos when asked about the boos.

Castellanos called it a “stupid question” and got into a heated exchange with a longtime local beat writer.

“It’s just different,” he said of the pressure of playing in Philadelphia. “Nothing I can’t adapt to.”

With hitter Bryce Harper out indefinitely with a broken left thumb, Philadelphia is looking to Castellanos to fill the void left by the 2021 NL MVP as the Phillies pursue their first postseason appearance since 2011.

Interim manager Rob Thomson said Friday he had not considered moving Castellanos from hole No. 3 as he expects his post-season numbers to look similar to career averages.

“I didn’t manage to get to base,” said Castellanos. “Of course it’s frustrating.”

Hoerner started the 10th as an automatic runner at second base. He stole third place with an out and scored after Frank Schwindel’s field player’s choice. Dizziness hit a high chopper from José Alvarado (3-2), and third baseman Alec Bohm’s throw home went wide.

The Cubs rose by two on Christopher Morel’s RBI single. Bohm’s fielding error on Nelson Velázquez’s badly hit grounder allowed two more runs to score before Willson Contreras added an RBI double to make it 6-1.

“Nice job by the guys putting balls in play,” said Cubs manager David Ross, who was ejected in the 10th.

Boehm rode in a run with a bottom half groundout.

Zack Wheeler threw seven strong innings for the Phillies, who are deep in the NL wildcard race but lost the first two games of the series to the lowly Cubs.

Chicago started the game with the fourth fewest wins in the majors but won its third straight. The Cubs improved to 4-11 in their MLB-leading 15th extra inning game.

David Robertson (3-0) threw a perfect ninth to win.

Wheeler and Marcus Stroman both excelled in a starting pitcher duel. Wheeler only allowed Hoerner’s homer and two more hits with six strikeouts and no walks.

“Settled in afterwards,” Wheeler said of the homer.

After finishing runner-up in the 2021 NL Cy Young Awards, the Philadelphia right-hander was not selected for this year’s All-Star Game despite a strong first half. He continued to impress against the Cubs while lowering his season ERA to 2.78 with 114 strikeouts and 22 walks in 106 2/3 innings.

Stroman passed Wheeler, throwing himself into seventh place and giving up a five-hit run with five strikeouts and two walks.

“He just found his sinker,” Ross said. “When you start out like that, you feel like you’re in every ball game. I thought he was in control.”

Darick Hall led in seventh place with a doubles against Stroman and scored with JT Realmuto’s singles. That ended the night for the Cubs’ starter after 86 pitches on a scorching evening that began with a game temperature of 97 degrees. Stroman lowered his road ERA to 2.30; He has a 7.94 mark at home.

Chicago took a 1-0 lead in the second when Hoerner drove an 89-mile shifter into the left seats. Morel’s double in the sixth inning and Ian Happ’s single in the seventh inning were Wheeler’s only other hits.

The Cubs threatened in the eighth as they loaded the bases with two outs. Thomson raised the left brad hand for right hand Connor Brogdon to face the right handed Contreras and Brogdon made Contreras jump out.

Philadelphia had a good chance to take the lead in the bottom half when pinch-hitter Matt Vierling went ahead with a double, but Steven Brault beat NL home run leader Kyle Schwarber before Mychal Givens grounded Rhys Hoskins and Castellanos delivered a sweeping punch.

ROSE TO APPEAR

Career hits leader Pete Rose will perform alongside many of his teammates from Philadelphia’s 1980 World Series championship team during Phillies Alumni Weekend on August 7th. It’s Rose’s first appearance at a Phillies game since he was banned from baseball in 1989 for admitting to betting on major league games while managing the Cincinnati Reds.

ROSS EXCLUDED

Ross was kicked out by Plate umpire CB Bucknor for squabbles after Patrick Wisdom was called to strike. Neither team seemed happy with Bucknor’s strike zone throughout the evening.

EXTRA! EXTRA!

Morel broke into the leading NL rookies and finished third among all major league rookies in extra base hits. He’s 25 now.

CUBS SIGNATURES

The Cubs signed eight of their first 10 amateur draft picks, including Cade Horton, first-round pick. Horton, a 20-year-old right-hander who was picked 7th overall in 14 games for the University of Oklahoma last season, was 5-2 with a 4.86 ERA.

The club also signed infielder Christopher Paciolla (third round) and right-handed pitchers Brandon Birdsell (fifth round), Will Frisch (sixth round), Nick Hull (seventh round), Mason McGwire (eighth round), Connor Noland (ninth round) and Brody McCollough (10th round).

TRAINING ROOM

Boys: INF Nick Madrigal (left groin strain) went 1 for 2 with an RBI and a walk in a rehab operation at Triple-A Iowa on Friday. Madrigal has been available since June 12th.

Phillies: INF Nick Maton, out since June 5 with a right shoulder sprain, remains in rehab at the Triple-A Lehigh Valley.

NEXT

Cubs LHP Drew Smyly (2-5, 4.22 ERA) defeats Phillies LHP Bailey Falter (0-2, 4.82) in the final of Sunday’s three-game series.

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Alley Einstein

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