It was a long, cold, miserable night in South Philadelphia, but all the Phillies will care about is coming away with a win.
Down two runs at two different points, the Phillies rallied to tie the game in the middle innings and go ahead in the seventh of a 7-4 victory Monday over the Brewers.
J.T. Realmuto had the game-winning hit, an RBI double in the seventh inning after Jean Segura reached on a dropped third strike.
Odubel Herrera followed two batters later with a game-sealing two-run double.
The Phillies' bullpen, which entered the night eighth in MLB with a 3.89 ERA, allowed one run over six innings to close out the win. Pat Neshek pitched the ninth for his second save.
The game took 3 hours, 57 minutes.
The Phillies are 24-16 and improved to 15-7 at home with six more games at Citizens Bank Park this week.
Rough night for Nola
Aaron Nola didn't have much on Monday. It was 48 degrees at first pitch after a 52-minute weather delay and both Nola and Brewers starter Freddy Peralta appeared to have difficulty gripping the baseball. Both struggled with control.
Nola allowed back-to-back doubles to Lorenzo Cain and Christian Yelich to start the game. Both missed home runs by mere inches. Yasmani Grandal followed two batters later with an RBI triple.
Nola threw a career-high 38 pitches in the first inning and allowed a career-high three extra-base hits in the opening frame.
He lasted only three innings and put eight men on base. Through nine starts, Nola is 3-1 with a 4.86 ERA. He was 6-1 with a 1.99 ERA through this many starts a year ago.
Hernandez still red-hot
Cesar Hernandez tied the game in the middle innings with a two-run shot off Jeremy Jeffress. That home run culminated a 100-at-bat stretch in which Hernandez hit .360/.429/.550 with eight doubles and four home runs.
Hernandez has been the Phillies' best hitter the last few weeks. He's up to .306 on the season with a .374 OBP.
Harper's issues continue
Bryce Harper struck out three more times, once with two men on and twice to lead off an inning.
Harper hasn't done much hitting at all lately. Even when the Phillies scored a combined 13 runs Saturday and Sunday, he went just 1 for 9.
Over his last 20 games, Harper is 10 for 68 (.147) with four doubles, two home runs and 28 strikeouts. His on-base percentage over that span is barely over .300.
Harper has struck out multiple times in seven of his last nine games. Through this many games last season, he had five more home runs and nine more walks.
Harper is at least making an impact right now with his defense. He had a diving catch Sunday in Kansas City and had a nice sliding grab with the bases loaded to end the seventh inning of a tie game Monday (see story).
"He's done a really good job of positioning himself. Specifically, I think he has looked to take command of his portion of the outfield," manager Gabe Kapler said hours earlier.
The importance of catcher defense
Grandal is a top-five catcher offensively but boy, does he give away a lot behind the plate. Within the first two innings, Grandal had a passed ball and a wild pitch that should have been caught. Then came the missed block on Segura's seventh-inning strikeout, which turned out to be the Phils' game-winning run.
On Sunday against the Cubs, Grandal failed to drop and block on a ball in the dirt, resulting in a baserunner advancing before he even knew the ball was by him.
Grandal's poor receiving skills certainly played a role in his extended free agency this offseason. He began the offseason with hopes of receiving a contract in the $80 million range. He was forced instead to sign a one-year, $18.25M contract with Milwaukee.
The four-game series between the Phillies and Brewers continues at 7:05 p.m. Tuesday.
Jerad Eickhoff (2-1, 1.50) opposes Milwaukee right-hander Brandon Woodruff (5-1, 4.25).
Jake Arrieta (4-3, 3.78) faces lefty Gio Gonzalez (1-0, 1.69) in Game 3.
It's Zach Eflin (5-3, 2.47) and Zach Davies (4-0, 1.54) in Thursday afternoon's finale.
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