I have had enough of the Phillies relievers “back sliding in their metrics.” I liked it better when they were unsustainably unhittable. Two nights after Ryan Madson was touched up in the ninth inning, Antonio Bastardo was also victimized by regression to the mean when he allowed the tying run to score via a home run by noted awful baseball player Ian Desmond. Brad Lidge sealed the deal by allowing the winning run by plunking Jonny Gomes with a pitch. This was much less surprising. The way that this season has been going thus far, it is nei-impossible to imagine that the Phillies would blow three ninth inning leads in a week. Well, it happened and its still a little hard to believe.
What the hell is it with Roy Halladay and the first inning? This seems to be the only time that the gigantic right hander is truly vulnerable. Roy coughed up two first inning runs before settling in and shutting down the Nationals. Predictably, the rains came in the top of the sixth inning causing Roy to leave the game. This meant that Roy only threw eighty nine pitches over five innings and he thew close to thirty of those pitches in the first. With the amount of work that the bullpen has shouldered lately with the rain delays, having Doc leave after five innings was not a good thing. Final line, five innings, seven hits, two runs and five strikeouts.
The Nationals also lost their starting pitcher due to the deluge. Does everyone remember the guy from Taiwan who won nineteen games two years in a row for the Yankees before he was thirty? This is that very same Chien-Ming Wang. Injury problems have reduced him from ace of the Yankees staff to reclamation project pitching for the Washington Nationals. He missed the majority of 2009 and all of last year with a litany of injuries supposedly stemming from a foot injury sustained while running the bases in inter-league play. Wang seems to have regained his velocity, but when a sinker ball pitcher is homer prone, there is still some room for improvement.
Carlos Ruiz and Chase Utley homering coupled with Michael Schwimmer settling down after allowing a game tying home run to pitch three innings of one hit relief stand out as the positives derived from today’s loss.
Apparently, the baseball gods are taking a pound of flesh from the Phillies with rain delays and normally effective pitchers surrendering leads. They also decided that, as the Phillies prepare for the return of Placido Polanco, the team’s line-up should not be complete for any amount of time. Jimmy Rollins was removed from the game after making a play in the bottoms of the second. Jimmy is having an MRI tomorrow and has explained via Twitter that he has a groin strain. He is listed as day to day.
Cliff Lee tomorrow versus Jon Niese and the Mets.