Who Had Money on Ben Francisco Being the Hero?

This one was pretty terrifying.  We were all prepared for a pitchers duel, but preparedness does not make a tight game any less vomit inducing.   Jamie Garcia and Cole Hamels both threw zeros up through the first six innings with the Phillies mustering very little offense against the young left hander.  It was the sort of game that we as Phillies fans have come to dread with Cole Hamels on the mound.  He pitches really well, but the offense can not push any runs across the plate.

This is also an excellent example of what Cole Hamels has become.  There was a time when the lack of support would rattle him.  He would pace around the mound and seem to sulk his way through the game.  In this outing, he was great, but he was not perfect.  He walked three and hit a batter and managed to respond by throwing six scoreless innings.  Colbert may be a really stupid name, but this guy can pitch his ass off.

There seemed to be little reason that Ben Francisco was a member of the Philadelphia Phillies playoff roster.  Apparently there is a reason he is on the roster after today.  Tony LaRussa intentionally walked Carlos Ruiz to face the pitchers spot.  Charlie Manual chose to use Ben Francisco.  I had no faith that Francisco would do anything but squander the opportunity and strike out.  He hit a three run home run into the bullpen and handed the Phillies a 3-0 lead.

This left the Phillies bullpen with the task of getting nine outs.  The only reliever with with definitive roll currently is Ryan Madson.  Madson is not going to appear in the seventh inning so Charlie had to piece it together.  Vance Worley went 1+ innings and allowed the first run of the game leaving a runner on first for the next reliever.  Next, Antonio Bastardo retired Nick Punto leading to the entrance of the most terrifying reliever on the roster; Brad Lidge.  Lidge allowed back to back hits to load the bases.  Charlie needed to get out of this jam and turned to his best reliever.  Ryan Madson induced a double play, got out of the inning and allowed a ninth inning run before getting the final out to earn his first save of the playoffs.  He may have allowed a run, but Madson was fantastic.

Jimmy Rollins continues to smash the crap out of the ball after another multi hit night.  The soon to be free agent shortstop is hitting .583 thus far.  He might be getting a touch more expensive with his playoff exploits.

Next the Phillies turn to Roy Oswalt to finish the Cardinals off.  The Cardinals turn to Edwin Jackson to extend their season.  I am hoping for a blowout.  Stores that sell Pepto Bismol hope for the opposite.

Tags: Ben Francisco Cole Hamels Jamie Garcia Philadelphia Phillies Ryan Madson St. Louis Cardinals

  • edrenfro

    I DID NOT have money on Franciscoan fireworks. My money was on what I thought was the more likely bet – that Charlie Manuel would wear a fake Abe Lincoln beard over two non-consecutive innings. I still say he’s due.

    The offense has scored 3 runs over the past 16 innings (all batted in by Francisco) and the bullpen has answered no questions but tonight’s win is obviously huge.