Statistics cannot really quantify what the series opener against the Cubs was. Personally, I would have rather seen Kendrick get smashed around in a 10-4 blowout than a 4-3 extra inning affair in which poor defense sank the Phils. Who can predict that a pitcher that has been absolutely fantastic would give up a home run to a team that can’t hit home runs?
This one started out well. Jimmy Rollins hit a three run home run in his first game back from fouling a ball off of his knee. This flash of competent offense occurred in the bottom of the second off of Cubs crappy starting pitcher Randy Wells. It kind of looked like the battle of ineffective pitching versus flaccid hitting would go to the Phillies, but they did not score for the remainder of the game. Remember Rodrigo Lopez? He shut the Phillies out for two and 2/3 innings. I am not sure what to add to that statement. Maybe if I put it in all caps it will resonate properly. RODRIGO LOPEZ SHUT OUT THE PHILLIES FOR TWO AND 2/3 INNINGS! What the hell is going on.
Despite their inability to generate offense off of substandard major league pitching, the Phillies carried a lead into the top of the ninth inning. Madson left a fastball up in the zone to Geovany Soto and he proceeded to crush all of our dreams of another perfect season for a closer. Up until tonight, Soto was hitting .214 with three home runs. Basing this on what I know about baseball, it is reasonably unlikely that this guy is going to tie the game with a home run. He did. Even more unlikely would be Tyler Colvin doing anything positive. The Cubs center fielder was battling under .100 coming into the ninth. He just about put the Cubs ahead when he smashed another fastball to deep center field. A fan reached down and interfered with the play, saving us from having someone who has not hit the ball in his last twenty eight at bats from beating the Phillies.
It could have been the fact that it was 100 degrees out. It could have been that Kendrick, Baez and Herdon pitched in the same game. It could have been that terrible pitchers seem to have the Phillies’ collective numbers right now, but this game never felt comfortable. The game went to extra innings with the Phillies rapidly running out of pitchers. Herndon, fresh from his most recent demotion to Lehigh Valley, was slated to pitch until he fucked up, or until his arm fell off. Saving Herndon the humiliation of giving up a winning home run, Placido Polanco skipped a throw to first on a routine ground ball that Ryan Howard couldn’t scoop allowing Tlyer Colvin (who reached on a play that Howard should have made earlier in the inning) to score from second.
The offense mustered a hit off of Carlos Marmol in the ninth, but ultimately was unable to push any runs across the plate. Shouting expletives and throwing things at the television apparently can not kick start the Phillies offense. Ask me how I know.
Roy Halladay opposes Carlos Zambrano tomorrow. I wonder if swearing and throwing shit can make you pitch better? Maybe we should ask Carlos.