Does everyone remember when relief pitchers had great names like “Goose” and “Rollie” and they could throw five innings and they could throw everyday and their blood brought the dead back to life? Me neither. Apparently there was a time in the life of the relief pitcher when they weren’t overpaid, coddled prima donnas. Nowadays it is a big deal if a closer can get more than three outs to earn a save. Jonathan Papelbon gets paid a crap load of money and managed to do just that in the series opener with the Marlins.
This game had a little bit of everything. A baserunning mistake from Jose Reyes, Kyle Kendrick and a rain delay. Kendrick followed up the best start of his career by grinding before and after the rain delay. He worked in and out fo trouble this entire outing managing to get through 5 1/3 innings allowing eight hits, two walks and only two runs. It is nice to see Kyle get out of trouble because escaping trouble if difficult for pitchers without swing and miss stuff. What I am trying to say here is that it is hard to have people smash the crap out of the ball and hit it to people on your team. Kyle did that today and earned his second win of the season.
I have never liked Mark Buehrle. I really don’t have a good reason for it. I know that he threw a perfect game, a no hitter and he managed to be a member of a world series champion as a member of the Chicago White Sox. I even know that the guy is really good at catching the ball……for a pitcher, but for some reason I just do not really like him. I suppose this all came to a head when he chose to become a member of the Miami Marlins. Apparently the Phillies don’t like him either as they got to him for eleven hits and four runs in his five innings of work. He never got a pitch over 85 MPH, looking kind of like a taller, fatter, employed version of Jamie Moyer.
The Marlins managed to score a first inning run when Giancarlo Stanton hit an RBI double following the afforementioned blunder from Jose Reyes and a single from Omar Infante. Stanton hits the ball harder than anyone I have seen in a long time. He even crushes the ball foul. The Phillies struck back with two runs coming from the most likely source in the world, a single from Hector Luna. Luna had reached base every time he was up against Buehrle coming into the game and he managed to go 2-4 with three RBI. Hunter Pence tacked on two more runs with a home run. Miami cut into the lead with a wierd double play ball on which Chris Coghlan managed to score. Jimmy Rollins got a runner in from third with one out to make the score a seemingly comfortable 5-2.
After watching Jose Contreras’s arm blow apart, Antonio Bastardo made pretty quick work of his first inning with a couple of flyouts and a groundout. He only threw fourteen pitches and looked like he could go another inning. Looks were deceiving as Bastardo allowed solo homers to Logan Morrison and Justin Ruggiano, and followed that with a walk to John Buck (Buck is currently hitting under .200). This brought the Diekman from the pen. He got a strike out but then managed to load the bases setting the stage for a relief outing reminiscent of 1975. Papelbon managed to get Omar Infante to pop out and made Hanley Ramirez throw a hissy fit on a called strike three to get out of the inning. He worked out of the ninth including one of the most terrible routes I have ever seen a baseball player take and still make the catch as John Mayberry looked every bit like the man he was replacing in center.
The moment that everything went right was when Papelbon struck out Hanley Ramirez with the bases loaded in the eighth inning. I could watch that over and over.
The most attractive play of the night was watching Jose Reyes get thrown out trying to stretch a single into a double in the first inning. The best part was that it could have been a really big inning for the Marlins.
The Hero of the game was Jonathan Papelbon. He has a stupid alter ego and kind of seems like a dick, but if he can pitch like that, all will be forgiven.
The villan of the game was Giancarlo Stanton. That guy is a monster.
Next up Cole Hamels attempts to strengthen his Cy Young candidacy against Ricky Nolasco.