Human Corpse Closes For Phillies; Gives Up Walkoff Home Run

Braves 5, Phillies 4

I guess they got sick of airing “Legends of the Fall” because I recently tuned into see what exactly CSN was broadcasting during a rain delay and it turned out to be a picture of an empty folding chair sitting outside the Wachovia Spectrum with smooth jazz playing in the background.

And honestly, I would have rather watched that than Ryan Madson’s turn with the baseball yesterday.

But first, this crap:

It says a lot about our lack of real team issues when we’re always talking about the same one.  Apparently, the mystery of the fifth starter is going to soon be coming to a close, after months of back room mutterings and shady twists that turned the Phillies clubhouse into The Westing Game.

This splendid report comes from the Philadelphia Daily News, which attached a picture of Jamie Moyer, who appears to be looking up from a fresh kill on the Serengeti.

Kyle Kendrick’s going today against the Astros, and while he’s having a productive spring, you’ve got to wonder if the brass was just curious to see if Moyer would falter at any point; letting too many runners on, or merely disintegrating into a Jamie Moyer-shaped pile of dust and slowly disappearing in the breeze.

But Moyer didn’t, and that makes him the likely post-Happ, pre-Halladay slot filler in the rotation.

You can expect this info to drop publicly after today’s game (Phils-Astros, 1:05pm).

Rich Dubee has had a long spring of kidnapping microphones and pulling the brim of his cap over his eyes.  Like a very intense greenhouse keeper, he has slowly harvested his plant life until it completes the growth process to fruition. Kendrick is a good example of Dubee’s green thumb for pitchers, but with the DL-bound J.C. Romero and Brad Lidge, he’s had an extra challenge: overcoming injury.

Somebody broke into his greenhouse at the end of 2009 with a flamethrower, and, well.  You know what happens to plants when they’re on fire.  Pretty much the same thing that happens to everything else.

Romero, fortunately, seems to be zipping along progressively.  ”His arm speed is coming along fine,” Dubee informed us, sure to use as few words as possible.  This was after explaining that Romero’s coming along quicker than Lidge, who apparently hasn’t entered a game without giving up a run yet this spring.

Then he said Billy Wagner was always “awful” in Spring Training.  High five, Rich Dubee!

… No?  Okay.  I’m sorry.  Yes, I’ll sit down.  Sorry, again.  In case you didn’t… hear the first one…

Do we call him "Mad Dog"? Is that a thing? (Image courtesy of wikimedia)

Which brings us to Ryan Madson.  With Lidge out come Opening Day and Romero, though recovering nicely, also a nonfactor, that leaves Mad Dog on the mound for any late game responsibilities.  Yes, he’s been fine, and until yesterday, wasn’t really shouldering any genuine disasters yet.  But…

He was dead today.

Again, an advocate for the concise, Dubee steps in and tells us what went wrong, and what went wrong was that our closer was a corpse as he served Eric Hinske the 3-0 fastball that had a bright future as a walk off home run.  I restrain myself from freak-outs during Spring Training, because it’s Spring Training, and we’re just here to train, not necessarily win, and Dubee himself said he hasn’t seen Madson pitch like that since 2002.

And maybe its because we had a closer achieve literal perfection not too long ago that it stings when even the slightest mishap is ignited in regards to late game pitching.  But I just want somebody out there who can get three outs.  Giving up runs makes me eat my finger nails, but as long as they aren’t winning runs, I can relent.  Yet… Madson proved he is capable of a relapse to a poor form he showed eight years ago, according to the guy who is training him to do his job better.

Or maybe he just had a bad day.  We all get them.  Last night I was scratching the inside of my ear with a dart and I think I’ve been tasting it since I woke up this morning.

That can’t be good.

Topics: Brad Lidge, Closer, J.C. Romero, Jamie Moyer, Kyle Kendrick, Rich Dubee, Ryan Madson, Spring Training

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