Brad Lidge walked out of the bullpen with rehabilitation in his elbow and four runs in his back pocket. He wasn’t being asked to hoist the game onto his shoulders and safeguard a sliver of a lead. He didn’t even really have a save situation to lock down. He needed 2008. He just needed three outs, and the game to be over.
He got two . And then it was 2009.
“Please, just… let it end. Dear god, just let it end…” Phillies fans all over the country or possibly just me begged their/my television sets. Nearby in a recliner, their (or again, possibly just my) Roommate laughed maniacally, like a supervillain in the final stage of “Operation: Robot Army.” It was all coming together. The president’s gold would be his in no time.
A-Rod shockazoolooed a double off a Brad Lidge slider that took too long introducing itself and brought the lovable Mark Teixeria across home plate. At this point, after Lidge had gotten people 0-2 with 2 outs in the bottom of the ninth and was still in this mess, Charlie Manuel heard the audible gasp from the crowd at CBP and had J.C. Romero start warming up in the bullpen.
Also warming up? That way too familiar feeling of Lidgean dread.
But this was 2010 Brad Lidge. We don’t know him very well. He could be capable of some different things, like crawling out from under a screw up to finish the job, or shooting flames from his eyes. It was the first one, and he got Jorge Posada to fly out.
And a collective fist pump sent a ripple of ecstasy cross the Delaware Valley; Phillies bloggers (all 10,000+) Tweet-gasmed all over the blogosphere.
Phillies 6, Yankees 3
Jamie Moyer’s quest to hold every record of “Oldest _____ in Baseball History” got another notch in the belt: ”Oldest Pitcher to Ever Beat the Yankees.” How that record doesn’t have it’s own roped off section in Cooperstown is a crime against humanity.
The old man went eight innings, giving up only three hits and two runs. Not bad for a guy who had every expectation to be shaken up after being shattered in his last start by a not as good Red Sox squad.
Prior to the game, it was rumored that Ruben Amaro was chatting up Pedro Martinez for a return to Philly, and Chase Utley was assembling a voodoo structure out of baseball equipment in front of his locker. Things were… different.
And then when the game actually started, and Shane Victorino cleared the bases with a triple and Ryan Howard and Jayson Werth hit back to back home runs, all of this coming off human weasel A.J. Burnett, things exceptionally different. Gotta give Burnett credit, though. Those are some sweet, sweet arm tats.
“I believe in God. I don’t believe in that shit,” J.C. Romero said of Utley’s plea to the gods before the game, and not of Brad Lidge getting three outs like you probably assumed. It was Romero warming up in the pen with the game just threads away from being over, so it may have been the right mentality. For a second.
The big question now is, “Are we out of it?” And the answer is a resolute “Absolutely not.” We’ve won games in the past month, hell, we’ve changed baseball history in the past month. Well, one of us has. Moyer actually came close last night as well, as he is now right on the flanks of Robin Roberts for most HR’s surrendered by a Phillies pitcher. Not quite on an even keel with a “perfect game,” but Dallas Braden has one of those, so how special could it really be (Hell, even A.J. Burnett has a no-hitter–he walked nine)?
A dominant start, an awakened offense–somewhat–but it’s the type of thing where we’ll know when it’s over. Our last ten games will be a respectable, our run production will be up, and it won’t seem as foreign to see guys like Howard and Werth circling the bases. That time certainly isn’t now. But if you want to feel optimistic, go ahead.
Though I don’t know how you could. There’s a fleet of robots bent on the extinction of the human race out there.