The Phillies offense finally scored more than three runs, the problem lies in the fact that the Arizona Diamondback scored seven runs. If my math holds up, that means that the D-Backs took their second straight contest in the series. Now math was never my strong suit, so if anyone out there came up with something different, please let me know (please show your work, you might be able to get partial credit).
Roy Oswalt had been pretty close to perfect up until last night, carrying a 3-0 record and an ERA below one. Three innings, six hits and five earned runs allowed let us know that the vaunted starting rotation can be damaged. Oswalt was the last starter to avoid throwing a clunker and has now joined his fellow pitching brethren in that dubious distinction. It is not rational to expect these guys to throw a shut out every time out, but I don’t think anyone around here is noted for their rational thought process. Smashing our foreheads into the panic button repeatedly might be a little premature, but it was nice to have one of the aces unblemished so we could show him off when everyone is pointing and laughing at the fact that Wilson Valdez has started a bunch of games at second base.
The D-Backs (every time I hear someone say D-Backs it kind of sounds like d-bags which always makes me laugh) got to Oswalt in the bottom of the second inning after the Phils had taken a 1-0 lead. Miguel Montero singled and was joined on the base-path by Juan Miranda after a walk. Gerardo Parra singled to tie the game an Daniel Hudson knocked in two with a bad route enabled double. Ben Fransico took a horrific route the ball and probably should have caught it, but this fact could not disguise the fact that Oswalt just did not have it tonight. Roy allowed another two runs in the third and was removed after the inning, leaving with the score 5-2.
The Phillies had multiple chances to deal a death blow to Hudson. They had a runner on second and third with one out in the first and a runner on first and third with one out in the third. Ben Franciso failed to put the bat on the ball in the first and popped out in the third, squandering both opportunities. Fransisco hit a home run in the ninth, but his two awful at bats in the beginning of the game were unforgivable. I don’t think I have ever wanted the number five hitter in the line up to bunt more in my life.
The final score was 7-5. You may be asking how the Diamondbacks scored their other two runs. Kyle Kendrick replaced Oswalt, but looked pretty good tossing two scoreless innings. I know! I didn’t expect that either! After his absolute implosion against the Brewers, Kyle has surprised us all by being effectively competent. David Herndon and Mike Zagurski on the other hand, were not quite as good. Zagurski allowed a home run to the Arizona third baseman with a neck tattoo (Ryan Roberts). Herndon allowed an infield single to Kelly Johnson by failing to cover first base. Johnson promptly stole second, got to third on a wild pitch and scored on a Justin Upton single. The upsetting part was not that he gave up the run, it was that he gave up a run with a bunch of mental mistakes. Herndon did nothing to prove that his 8 plus ERA is an aberration. I have seen one inning of Michael Stutes and I have already made the determination that once Contreras is back, Herndon should get a one way ticket to Lehigh keeping the rookie on the roster.
Positives from the game were Ryan Howard going 3-4 with an RBI and a walk (although a home run would be nice, Ben Fransisco is now the team leader with four), Kyle Kendrick’s maturation into mediocrity and the pinch hitters continued success with a Ross Gload RBI single in the sixth.
Next up Cole Hamels takes on Joe Saunders in an attempt to avoid the sweep. Arizona is stupid.