Why Can’t It Be Easy: Phillies Hold on 9-8


I am going to start this recap with a hypothetical situation.  Let’s say that a baseball team scores six runs in the first inning of a baseball game.  This type of offensive output would lead one to believe that victory was imminent.  Strengthening the case for an easy victory is the addition of one of baseball’s best pitchers and a cavalcade of average quasi major league pitchers in opposition.  In said hypotheitcal situation, an easy victory seems like a really strong possibility.

The Phillies scored six first inning runs knocking starting pitcher P.J. Walters from the game without recording an out.  The offense added another three runs in the middle of the game and still managed to transform what seemed to be an easy victory into a one run game that required a four out save from their closer.  What makes this type of game so difficult to swallow is simply that we, as fans of this team, are not used to snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.  If it was a botched double play from Dickie Thon to Tom Herr there would be much less outrage.  There are higher expectations right now.  Mostly I think that if this team is going to play badly, they should offer a contract to retired random utility infielder Randy Ready.

Even though it got tenuously close to a loss, the Phillies won the game.  The first four batters of the game singled, highlighted by a two run single from the red hot Jim Thome who has been close to ungetoutable lately.  Jeff Manship took over for P.J. Walters and got out of the inning, but not before Chooch singled home a run and John Mayberry Jr. crushed a three run home run.  Cole Hamels threw a scoreless bottom of the first and everything looked like it was going the Phillies’ way.

The Twins got on the board with a solo homer from Trevor Plouffe.  Plouffe is a stupid name and Cole should be embarrassed that he allowed a home run to him.  The Phillies kept adding on, most markedly with a 466ft two run home run from Jim Thome, but they couldn’t shake the Twins’ red hot offense who again were aided by some shoddy defense from the Phillies.  The score was 9-4 going into the seventh inning and after Kyle Kendrick’s short outing last night, the Phillies really were looking for seven innings from Cole Hamels.  They didn’t get it.  The first three Twins reached base against Cole and they managed to score another four runs in the inning.  Antonio Bastardo did little to aid Hamels as he allowed all of the inherited runners in the inning to score.  Cole’s final line was an unimpressive six inning pitched, allowing eight hits and seven runs.  At least he got out of the first inning, unlike his counterpart.

Chad Qualls entered the game with a one run lead.  He struck out three batters, but Jamey Carrol made it to first on a swing and miss wild pitch.  This precipitated the use of Jonathan Papelbon.  We seem to get the feeling that Charlie does not have all that much faith in any other members of the bullpen.  Papelbon continues to pitch really well and he made a four out save look pretty damn easy.

The moment that everything went right for the Phillies was went Jonathan Papelbon got Josh Willingham to record the last out of the game.  The way it has been going recently it really looked like the Phillies were doing everything to hand this one back to the Twins and I didn’t feel better until the last out was recorded.

The most attractive play of the game was a tie between a fantastic glove flip from Micheal Martinez and the mammoth home run that Jim Thome hit.  I suppose I should give it it Martinez because he probably will never been in this part of the recap again.

The hero of the game was Jonathan Papelbon.  He got another save of more than four outs and continues to be the only competent member of the bullpen.

The villian of the game was Jamey Carrol.  He didn’t do anthing spectacular, but Wheels sound like he might want to have sex with him.  That’s enough for me.

The Phillies can win the series!  Joe Blanton is tasked with not being terrible tomorrow at 8:10.