Pretty much every member of the 2008 championship has earned a special place in the hearts of Philadelphia. Even Geoff Jenkins, who, by all rights, was a pretty large disappointment from a production standpoint, is not despised. The pretty much in the aforementioned statement is reserved exclusively for Brett Myers. I don’t think he ever really got Philadelphia, or maybe he is just an asshole. Either way, I never really root for the guy to succeed. We all got another chance to see him tonight, but more on that later.
Cliff Lee looks to have fully recovered his exploded side muscle. Cliff went eight innings giving up only a seeing eye home run to some fellow named Matt Downs. He struck out ten Astos and even managed to get Carlos Lee out twice (he still managed to get a hit and to not get thrown out at first base). The real problem here is that Cliff couldn’t throw a complete game. With Jonathan Papelbon and Antonio Bastardo unavailable, this left the final inning to Jose Contreras or Chad Qualls. Uh oh.
The Phillies went into the ninth inning with a 3-1 from home runs from Hunter Pence and the suddenly hot Brian Schnieder. Chad Qualls has 51 career saves and has closed as recently as 2010 and with the two guys who are actually pitching effectively unavailable, this leaves Qualls as the choice to close out the sweep. It didn’t work. Qualls allowed Jordan Schaffer to reach on a double, got a ground out to move Schaffer to third and allowed a single to Carlos Lee to score Schaffer. Carlos Lee may be the slowest man in the major leagues, so he was replaced on the base paths by Brian Bogusevic. Bogusevis stole second putting himself in scoring position. Qualls got Chris Johnson to ground out. He still could have gotten out of the inning allowing only one run and earning his 52nd career save. He allowed a single to J.D. Martinez which along with an error from Hunter Pence, allowed Bogusevic to score, tying the game. Qualls finished his outing by allowing a double to Jason Castro. It was not pretty tonight for Chad. The scary part is that I still trust him more than Jose Contreras.
The bullpen bright spot for tonight was provided by Jake Diekman, who made an impressive major league debut. He entered the game with a man on second and third with two outs. He struck out Marwin Gonzalez to end the inning, pitched the tenth, recording two more strikeouts and even got the win after Hunter Pence hit a walk off home run. It is easy to be optimistic after one positive outing, but he looks like he could be a real major league pitcher.
Remember when I said that we would get the chance to see Brett Myers? Well, he allowed a walk off home run to Hunter Pence and got his first loss of the year. Brett Myers has a bad haircut and a stupid beard. I do not miss your shenanigans Brett Myers. Short series sweep! 4-3 Phillies win.
Tomorrow, Kyle Kendrick goes up against Matt Garza. Here’s to hoping that the wind is blowing in as the Phillies go for their fourth straight win.