Phillies Avoid Slump, Implosion, Lidge to Win Game


"“I don’t intend to have any surgery.”"

And with that, all team trainers, surgeons, and reporters slowly backed away from Jamie Moyer’s locker.  Dead air quickly filled the room.  The man doesn’t intend to have surgery.  The man doesn’t intend to retire.  The man doesn’t intend to make a decision without having every one of the facts in front of him. His intentions are to pick up the ball and throw it, whether he’s screaming in agonizing pain as he does it or not.

Until he knows for certain, he’s not be pestered by people anxious to use words like “retirement,” or “finally,” or “Dan Haren” in their headlines.  It ain’t over until Jamie’s ulnar collateral ligament says it is.

Phillies 4, Rockies 3

J.A. Happ went five innings, giving up four hits, three runs, four walks, and four K’s, before the game was cracked in half by an intrusive itinerary of furious wind.  By the time the players were slopping back onto the field, the Braves had already lost to the Marlins.  Another brazen opportunity to force this decrepit season another notch higher in the standings was presenting itself, and it all wound up in the sweaty palms of Brad Lidge.

This game, however, left almost every baserunner with a strong case of abandonment issues.  The Phillies and Rockies limped toward each other and engaged in a limp, half-assed brawl to the death, unafraid to relinquish every last shred of offense to a pop out or grounder right back to the pitcher.  Combined, the teams let 20 runners starve to death on the base paths.

It wasn’t until the 7th that we saw signs of life, and not only that, we saw them from Wilson Valdez, who’s offensive notoriety exists somewhere alongside a Danys Baez save and Shane’s ability to not swing at the first pitch.

But Valdez torched a ground rule double down the right field line and, as a fan actually got out of the way–nobody sits in that section without imagining a screaming Jayson Werth two inches from their face–setting up a J-Roll sponsored RBI and go-ahead run a few minutes later on a missed ball by Rockies catcher Miguel Olivo.

When Jimmy’s on third, his muscles and bones and thoughts are all naturally gravitating toward home plate.  This, undoubtedly, sets of blaring klaxons in his head should the ball get away from the catcher.  Its like there’s a party in his legs, and everyone is stampeding to get there.

With the score 4-3 in the top of the ninth, the Phillies did what they’ve done most times that it’s close, it’s late, and he’s available:  They handed the baseball to Brad Lidge.

“I’ll take the case,” Brad said, and ran onto the field, where he promptly struck out Dexter Fowler, walked Jonathan Herrera, struck out Carlos Gonzalez, gave up a single to Melvin Mora, walked Jason Giambi (At this point he’d thrown more balls than strikes), and finally, wrung up Ian Stewart.

I removed my fist from my mouth, coughed up a few teeth, and gave the television a polite round of applause.