In their never-ending quest to destroy the soul of Cliff Lee, the Phillies allowed newly acquired reliever Josh Lindblom to enter the eighth inning of a one-run ballgame, quickly turning a 4-3 lead into a 7-4 loss to the Brewers in Milwaukee on Thursday night.
Lee, who was once again victimized by the long-ball but pitched well otherwise, lasted 7 2/3 innings, striking out 12. He would have made it through the eighth were it not for an error on temporary third baseman Kevin Frandsen that opened the floodgates.
Wanting Lee to leave the game with some positive mojo, Charlie Manuel removed the expensive left-hander after Frandsen’s error, bringing in Lindblom, who has not done well since joining the Phils.
He’s still not doing well.
Lindblom intentionally walked Ryan Braun (not a bad idea, considering the guy had hit two home runs already in the game), then walked Aramis Ramirez on four pitches, bringing the evil Cory Hart to the plate, who hit a grand slam on a 2-2 pitch to right-center.
The young right-hander now has a 10.80 ERA in seven appearances with the Phils and is 0-3 with a 6.75 ERA in 24 appearances since June 16.
When It All Went Wrong
The turning point was Frandsen’s error in the eighth, which forced Manuel to pull Lee from the game. And this time, the move actually made some sense, seeing as how Braun had already homered twice off Lee and is about the greatest hitter who ever lived against the Phils this year. Of course, with Placido Polanco about to come back from a broken hip (actually, it’s a bad back which is kinda the same thing), at the very least the defense at the hot corner should improve in the short term. That is, of course, until Polanco’s Life Alert bracelet goes off after falling in the shower sometime this weekend.
Most Attractive Play
Frandsen’s bases-clearing double was nice, but he ruined it by being a clumsy good-for-nothing a few innings later. So we’ll go with Chase Utley’s defensive stab on a hot shot in the 7th as the defensive play of the game, reminding us all again that even with two bad knees, Utley still knows how to pick it on the right side of the diamond while not sitting on a chair.
Cliff Lee, who continues to go out and pitch every fifth day knowing he’s either going to get screwed by his teammates or screw himself over. And, he does this all without sobbing uncontrollably on the mound at the same time. I’d also like to commend Lee for not murdering one or more of his teammates so far this year. He’s been a real trooper about the waterboarding he’s received from the boys in 2012.
It’s a tie between Cory Hart, who I insist looks like a Fraggle with his full beard, and Braun, who’s gotta still be using testosterone or steroids or that formula The Green Goblin used in the first Spiderman movie that made him all super strong and aggressive, right?