Alec Bohm might bleeping hate this place, but he better love his teammates because they got him off the hook something big when they rallied for five runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to beat the New York Mets, 5-4, on Monday night.
Bohm had a nightmarish night at third base for the Phillies. He made three throwing errors. He also made five successful plays in the field but the Citizens Bank Park crowd of 22,317 couldn’t get past the errors. So when Bohm made one of those successful plays in the second inning, he was showered with mock cheers.
It didn’t sit well with him.
Television cameras caught Bohm looking over at shortstop Didi Gregorius and saying, “I bleeping hate this place.”
Doesn’t the kid know that you don’t get into a hissing war with Philadelphia fans?
Bohm could have made up a story and said the lip readers were wrong. He could have claimed he said, “I bleeping hate those plays.” He could have hid in the training room or made a quick postgame exit from the ballpark.
But when reporters entered the clubhouse, the 25-year-old infielder was at his locker and his quiver contained no excuses.
“Emotions got the best of me,” he said. “I said it. Do I mean it? No.
“It’s a frustrating night for me, obviously. I made a few mistakes in the field. These people, these fans, they just want to win, and you heard it, we come back, they’re great.
“I’m sorry to them. I don’t mean that. Emotions just got the best of me.”
Emotions got the best of the Phillies’ dugout as the bats came alive in the bottom of the eighth inning. Bohm started the rally with a walk. Johan Camargo singled and Bohm scored on a fielder’s choice by Kyle Schwarber. J.T. Realmuto then electrified the crowd with a two-run homer. Nick Castellanos kept the inning alive with a two-out walk then scored the tying run on a double by Rhys Hoskins.
Gregorius came up.
He heard the crowd chanting, Didi … Didi … Didi …
“I felt like I had to come through,” he said afterward. “It was good. That’s the extra boost we need to keep it going.”
Gregorius doubled home Hoskins to give the Phillies the lead. The fans went bonkers. The dugout went bonkers.
“You could feel it coming,” Bohm said. “Once that line gets moving, it’s hard to stop. Hitting is contagious. You hear that all the time and it got contagious there in that eighth inning.”
The Phillies had just four hits while being shut out over the first seven innings.
But Castellanos said, “Even in the dugout when we were down, we were like, ‘Yo, we’re winning this game.”
In addition to the late rally, the Phillies won because Nick Nelson made his debut with the club and kept the score close with four innings of one-run ball.
“It probably gets overlooked, but Nick Nelson was tremendous,” manager Joe Girardi said. “He saved our bullpen.”
The victory improved the Phillies to 3-1. They have 18 more meetings with the Mets, including Tuesday night. If all the games are as eventful and exciting as this one …
The win took some of the heat off Bohm.
“Everybody in here has my back,” he said. “I’m glad I have some teammates that can pick me up there and make up for my mistakes.
“The win is what helps me leave feeling good. I put us in a hole. You saw those at-bats in the eighth inning. Everybody was locked in.”
In addition to walking twice, Bohm doubled in the game. He has a single, two doubles and three walks in six plate appearances this season.
Not too shabby.
The question does remain, however: Can the Phillies afford to play him if his defense remains the issue it was last year and Monday night? This team is spending $240 million to break a 10-year postseason drought. The stakes are high and there won’t be an eighth-inning rally every night.
“We have to get him better,” Girardi said. “That’s the bottom line. Find a way.”
Bryson Stott will likely play third base Tuesday night.
He bleeping loves this place.
And so, too, does Bohm, despite what the video might say.
“I think it’s a kid that was frustrated,” Girardi said. “I don’t think the kid was referring to the city of Philadelphia, the fans. I think he was referring to the situation he was in. Put yourself in his shoes. That’s got to be a tough place. I told him I’ve been there. I’ve had three passed balls. I’ve had passed balls to lose a game. In that situation, you hate everything. Think about what he was feeling. It’s not a fun situation.”