Not All is “Fair” in Baseball

6 Aug

This was arguably one of the strangest games that I have ever seen.  I made a list and I think it had everything except for black cats walking on the field.

Let’s start in the beginning.  Roy Oswalt got the start and was looking to bounce back from his tough start against the Nationals, and he did.  Oswalt went just into the 7th inning pitching a shutout.  He worked himself in and out of a few early jams but looked sharp.  Roy allowed 2 base runners in the 7th before he was pulled who later became earned runs after reaching off J.C. Romero.  Roy appeared to be upset getting the hook from Charlie Manuel, but that was dismissed after the game.

“I threw 100-something pitches and it was pretty warm out there,” Oswalt said. “I really battled through some innings.”

“He had a lot of long innings,” Manuel said.  Charlie said that he pulled Oswalt because he had that Florida’s humidity had taken it’s toll on Roy.

He should have been upset with the bullpen.  Not only did they blow Roy’s lead they allowed the Marlins to get ahead.  J.C. Romero throws hard but his command isn’t there.  Jose Contreras wasn’t much better.  Contreras has been a little shaky at times but has been one of the more reliable pieces out of the pen.  Tonight wasn’t his night, either.

Once again, Chooch was the man.  3 for 5 with 3 RBI and a run scored.   He might have been 4 for 5 if he didn’t try to turn his double into a triple in the 4th. I swore his two-run double in the 6th was gonna be caught, but his homer in the 10th was the difference in the game.  We’ll circle back to that.

_aug62.jpgAfter coughing up the lead in the 7th, I didn’t have much hope that the Phillies would be able to finish the sweep. The Phillies had squandered a bunch of chances in the game and it just didn’t seem like it was their night.  They didn’t capitalize after a balk with the bases loaded in the 1st.  Nor in the second with a few runners on. 

We go to the 9th….

The comeback started with some really great hits from Ross Gload, and Raul Ibanez.  They had been handed one gift already by Hanley Ramirez who threw wildly to first allowing Polanco aboard, and then Jayson Werth smashed one past Hanley that he probably could have snagged. They managed two runs with just one out, but a collection of 3 base running blunders sent this one to the bottom of the ninth.  I’m not sure that it was the best idea for the Marlins t0 send Leo Nunez out there after he was hung out to dry the night before.  

Blunder #1  Ibanez was caught in a run down trying to score on a grounder to first.

Blunder #2 Jayson Werth was picked leaning off second by Leo Nunez.  It was a bad mistake, but in defense of Werth Nunez has a pretty good move though.  Chooch was at the plate.

Blunder #3 Chooch still at the plate… Domonic Brown was caught stealing second trying to make something happen.

Ryan Madson pitches the bottom of the ninth and was handed the biggest gift of the night.  With a runner on Gaby Sanchez slapped a ball down the third baseline that should have scored the winning run.  Third base umpire Bob Davidson blew the call and ruled the ball foul.  Replays show that the ball bounced on the line twice, but nobody had Davidson’s view of the bag but him, and that’s all that matters.  It was pretty hard to tell as the ball does appear to change direction at some point.  That’s is baseball as they say, sometimes those calls go your way, and sometimes they don’t.

So… Chooch is STILL at the plate in the 10th after two base runners were erased in the 9th.  In his second chance he killed it.  Line drive homer over the left field wall.  Nobody else in the inning mattered.

Brad Lidge came out and got the save.  He worked his pitched a little better this time.  Allowed a runner, but got a strikeout and finished off a really weird game.

Side Notes –

Howard – The Phillies are 4-0 without him… I still want him back!

Utley – Chase went back to Philadelphia to have his splint removed.  He’ll be evaluated and will start some exercises to improve his thumb’s mobility.  He should start playing in a few weeks, but with the minors.  I’m saying early September before he’s in red pinstripes.

Lincecum – Thanks for nothing Tim.  We were counting on you handling the Braves on Thursday.



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