The Philadelphia Phillies learned a hard lesson about shifting on Wednesday, courtesy of Chicago Cubs star Kris Bryant.
Bryant, who was on first, attempted a steal on a 3-1 pitch. Bryant beat the throw, but as the pitch was ball 4, the throw was not needed and he was not credited with a steal. Unfortunately for the Phillies, Bryant did get a steal when he saw that no Philadelphia player was covering third.
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) June 7, 2018
Literally any Philadelphia player could have prevented that by just trotting towards third after the pitch.
We’ve seen similar plays in the past. Then with the New York Yankees, Johnny Damon actually did steal two bases on one play in the 2009 World Series, which was also against the Phillies. More recently, then New York Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy also stole third after being walked to second in Game 5 of the 2015 NLDS vs. the Los Angeles Dodgers.
After this, we can only assume that it will be a while before Philadelphia is burned like this again. Then again, Jake Arrieta recently made a big stink about this team’s shifts, and nothing was done.