Placido Polanco seems like a very nice person. He also has a really big head. I am not speaking figuratively here, the part of his body that holds his brains is larger than it should be for a man his size. Tony LaRussa once stated that Polanco was his favorite baseball player….so he has that going against him. This season has not been kind to the kind hearted, giant domed third baseman leading many to question if Poly’s best days are behind him.
The Phillies were attempting to avoid losing a series to a team that is absolutely terrible. They have abandoned any hope of being competitive this season with the hope that Theo Epstien can vanquish the demons preventing this team from winning a world series. There may be some precedent for this as he accomplished this task in Boston, but it looks like his reclamation project is currently on the ground floor.
Vance Worley was really good again. He also has proven this season that he doesn’t need his personal catcher to succeed. This is the second game that he has pitched in with Carlos Ruiz behind the plate that he threw really well. I like that Vance seems to yell at people when he strikes them out and they complain. I am sure this is endearing him to the opposition, but it hardly seems like he cares. Seven innings of one run ball for Mr. Worley lowering his ERA to 1.97.
The offense scored four runs in the first inning. It looked like the Phillies were going to eviscerate the rotten carcass that is Chris Volstad, but he actually rallied after his tough first and plowed through six innings. The real question here is what a team actually expects to acquire for Carlos Zambrano. Zambrano quit on his team mates AND punched his catcher in the face. Picture Chooch doing this to Cliff Lee. I have an easier time picturing Chooch on vacation with Roy Halladay’s family than I do envisioning them coming to blows. Anyway, the Phillies once again could not deliver a knockout blow against a terrible pitcher and it came back to bite them in the ass.
In the eighth inning, the Phillies handed a 4-1 lead to the bullpen. This lead appeared safe with the even more aenemic than the Phillies offense wielded by the Chicago Cubs. Antonio Bastardo continued to have the best name in baseball, but managed to walk the worst guy to walk in the league in the person of Tony Campana. He scored. Chad Qualls has been really good thus far this year and he took over for Bastardo and proceeded to give up a game tying homer to last year’s Pacific Coast League’s most valuble player, Bryan LaHair.
Here we are, quality start wasted, offense ineffective since the first and with a bunch of struggling offensive players who do little to fill us with confidence. Chooch has been the team’s best clutch hitter this season; he lines out. Juan Pierre gets hit with a pitch and Freddy Galvis pops out. What we have here are two outs with a couple of struggling hitters coming to the plate in the persons of Jimmy Rollins and Placido Polanco. Jimmy singled and Placido Polanco did Tony LaRussa proud with a two run double into the left field corner. It is always a good idea to hit the ball to Alfonso Soriano. Polanco’s double doubled his RBI total for the year and was quite possibly his hardest hit ball of the season.
With a 6-4 Jonathan Papelbon attempted to stay perfect in save opportunities. He did. 6-4 Phillies win earning them a split and a bit of momentum going into thier series with the Braves.