Nationals Falter to Phils, Weather, Sea Gulls
By Justin Klugh
The gulls cawed silently to each other on the freshly moistened grass.
Craig Stammen was on his way to a particularly hellish inning. He wiped his face. It was pointless. Everything was wet and gross and the filthy stank of a soaking wet Philadelphia was quickly invading 88,000 nostrils. The afternoon’s radar was smeared with green and gosh, who doesn’t love a little humid, rancid baseball, while a gaggle of murderous sea birds conference behind the outfield wall.
Raul Ibanez is a man who hits home runs like a father stepping on a LEGO in the dark. It comes out of nowhere, limbs go flailing, and the jarring yelps that follow are based mainly in shock. But Stammen’s inning of relief was just the window Raul needed to slap a two-run shot.
The gulls’ eyed each other knowingly. And it began.
Phillies 6, Nationals 0
Outside of the sea gull attack on Craig Stammen, the day game was marred by a 1 hour and 4 minute rain delay, and everyone knows baseball is always better when it smells terrible.
Fortunately, it was only the city around CBP that sucked, and not the pitching or the hitting or the Kyle Kendrick. Today was Roy Oswalt’s turn, and he spent his mound time tricking the Nats into scoring position and then yanking the opportunity just out of grasp. It was cruel to watch, like when you turn a street corner and find a stray cat stuck under a shopping cart. Blech.
It was a weird day.
Unlike a Cole Hamels start, when the offense can do little but shrug and fail, everybody hit, except Jayson Werth, and the Phils racked up four runs, then waited almost two hours, then tacked on two more. Wilson Valdez, having frantically spray painted some hair from the shower drain and attached it to his chin with a glue gun just before game time, smoked in the two pre-delay insurance runs, cementing his role in Phillies lore as an offensive dynamo. He also grounded into a double play just so we would still be able to recognize him.
And honestly, we went 2-for-8 with runners primed for some scorin’, and let seven of them out there to die. So its not like we brought our “A” game. We just brought enough “A-” game to cover the spread.
Roy Oswalt’s damming of Nationals’ hopes and dreams also helped. But a lot of that had to be fueled by Roy’s desire to throttle the Washington lineup that so torched him in his original Phillies appearance. Unfortunately, we don’t get to take advantage of his assumed wild desire for vengeance against the Astros as they whimper into town.
Though I guess he doesn’t really have a whole lot of reasons to hate them. I just assume Major League Baseball is played by unpredictably vicious, vengeful lunatics just hanging by a thread, who may be just as likely to throw a shut out as they are to punch their wife in the face in public.