I got tricked by ESPN’s post game analysis on the latest Phillies disaster, which included this part of a sentence:
“…Valdez hit into an unusual, inning-ending double play.”
“Ha! Ha ha! ESPN’s feeling a mite catty tonight,” I said to no one. Roommate was fast asleep, his precious Yankees having taken down the festering-in-the-shadows-of-the-basement Orioles.
Of course, as I read on, I discovered the “unusualness” they were referring to was the fact that the second out of the double play was made by Carlos Ruiz on his way home rather than the runner headed to first.
All Wilson Valdez does is hit into double plays, so if he’s found a revolutionary way to do so, good for him. It’ll be a hell of a story to tell when he’s old and gray, about how during that one magical summer back in 2010, the Phillies went on a losing streak that was so wretched with human error, bewildering inconsistency, and impossibly parasitic bad luck, that he made heads turn by grounding into a different kind of double play than the world was used to seeing.
Go ahead and send that jersey to Cooperstown.
Braves 7, Phillies 3
The deeper the hole gets, the more you wonder how exactly the Phils plan on digging out of it. I vote selling Greg Dobbs’ soul to the devil.
So there’s a lot of emphasis being put on the fact that the Phillies’ slight struggles–or, you know, complete and utter meltdown–could be because Jimmy Rollins is out.
With the adrenaline of the season opening now a thing of the past (month), are we slowly falling into the rig-amoral of mid-season play because the smiling captain isn’t around? Is his affect on the team so much that when he’s not there to ride a surfboard into the locker room or throw firecrackers into Charlie’s office while giggling they can’t have offense when he’s not around?
Probably not, but I am more than willing to grant that it’s a contributor. Everybody’s got fat contracts now, and I don’t want to say anybody’s dragging their feet out there–but I’m not saying nobody’s dragging their feet out there–so are the Phillies just comfortable enough to fall asleep on June’s radiator like a cat, waking up every so often to yawn and stretch out a perfect game?
I don’t know if its the errors or the 4x Jayson Werth strikeouts or what, but when Shane Victorino’s bat connected with Brian McCann’s head tonight, sending Greg Dobbs back to first on what was apparently a successful attempt at a stolen base for 30 seconds (I thought maybe Dobbs had forgotten what the count was, or how many outs there were, or what team he played for, or who he was), this slump crossed over from a massive volume of underperformance to sinisterly poor luck.
Imagine how surprised Dobbs was when he found out he was safe. He probably couldn’t wait to get back to the dugout to call his wife and kids.
And then there was the pitching. Cole Hamels was hanging out long enough to give up a three run home run, which in turn pissed off somebody who cared, because the skies were ripped open and it rained so hard that ESPN gave us the Rays-Jays game, and then the Sox-A’s game. Which was such fantastic news that I turned off the TV and fell asleep face down on the floor, as is the custom with rain delays.
Then, he never came back, thanks to the hour and change wait. But Tim Hudson did–a man eight years his senior–and pitched pretty magnificently. So… yeah.
With a dried up bullpen, we now get to watching Kyle Kendrick attempt to go deep into a game against the hot hot hot Braves, which could be darkly comical, if nothing else.
At least Ryan Howard ended the home run drought. That’s the same thing as winning and being back in first place.