St. Louis, Boston breweries stage World Series bets

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The fine folks at Schlafly Brand Beer in St. Louis — try their outstanding Pumpkin Ale or Coffee Stout if you ever get a chance — have established World Series bets with two Boston-based breweries, Harpoon and Boston Beer Company (the makers of Sam Adams). From the Beer Employee Blog at Schlafly.com:

The wager between our fearless leader, Dan Kopman and Harpoon president Dan Kenary is fairly straightforward. Whoever loses has to put a keg of beer from the other brewery on tap at their tasting room. If St. Louis loses, look for a keg of Harpoon IPA pour from our Schlafly Tap Room taps. If the Cardinals prevail…when the Cardinals prevail, beer drinkers visiting Harpoon in Boston will have a chance to taste what 12 World Series Championships tastes like. And by that we mean to say that 12 World Series Championships tastes like Schlafly Beer… just to be clear.

Dan Kopman and Samuel Adams founder, Jim Koch also got to talking about the upcoming Series, and decided that a bet was in order. Before all was said and done, Jim had offered up two cases of Boston Lager and a lobster dinner. Not to be outdone, Dan not only offered up some Schlafly Pale Ale and BBQ dinner from Pappy’s Smokehouse… he then raised the stakes to include the losing city shipping off a brewer, all expense paid, to the winning city’s brewery to help brew a victory beer.

I happen to live right across the street from the Schlafly Tap Room, so this all makes me very happy.

Phillies walk off winners thanks to a poor decision by Marcell Ozuna

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The Phillies’ bullpen, which has not been good as of late, gift-wrapped Monday’s game for the Cardinals. Starter Nick Pivetta was brilliant, fanning 13 while allowing two runs in 7 1/3 innings. But things unraveled after he left the game. Victor Arano took over for Edubray Ramos to start the ninth inning with the Phillies leading 4-2, but he allowed a one-out single and a double. After striking out Harrison Bader, Arano appeared to strike out Yairo Munoz for the final out of the game, but the ball trickled through the legs of catcher Andrew Knapp, allowing a run to score and the tying run to move to third base. Lefty Adam Morgan came in to face pinch-hitter Kolten Wong. Wong tied the game up, sneaking a single into center field.

In the 10th inning, Jake Thompson gave up the go-ahead run on a leadoff home run to Tommy Pham. It seemed like it was just going to be another one of those losses that have become increasingly common for the Phillies lately. But the Phillies’ offense didn’t go down quietly, even though it hadn’t put a runner on second base since the start of the second inning when J.P. Crawford doubled. In the bottom half of the 10th, Hoskins blooped a single into shallow left-center to start the inning. Hoskins moved to second base on a ground out from Odubel Herrera. Matt Bowman intentionally walked Carlos Santana, then struck out Jesmuel Valentin. That brought up Aaron Altherr, who replaced Nick Williams after Williams took a baseball to the face off of the right field fence. Bowman fell behind 2-1, then threw a 90 MPH fastball that Altherr lined into left field. Rather than keep the ball in front of him, Marcell Ozuna decided to dive for the ball to make the final out, but he missed. The ball trickled past him, allowing the tying and the game-winning runs to score, giving the Phillies a come-from-behind win.

On the list of people happy to see Ozuna miss that ball are Altherr (of course), Arano, Morgan, and Thompson. But perhaps no one was happier than manager Gape Kapler. The win might help take the heat off of him somewhat after another poor performance from the bullpen. When a team struggles, everyone wants a scapegoat and Kapler is an easy target. He has been all year, undeservingly.

Phillies radio broadcaster and former major league reliever Larry Anderson said after the bullpen meltown, “Not everybody can pitch in the ninth inning. And I know Gabe Kapler thinks they can, but they can’t.” Aside from Ramos and Seranthony Dominguez (who was unavailable after throwing 52 pitches between Saturday and Sunday in Milwaukee), no one in that bullpen has been reliable. The closer, Hector Neris, just got optioned to Triple-A. You work with what you have, and right now, Kapler doesn’t have a whole lot. Thankfully for him, he wasn’t punished with another loss thanks to Ozuna.