Carlos Ruiz defiantly holds his defecatory posture as Rodrigo Lopez and Kelly Johnson celebrate. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Looking at the Phillies lineup for the finale of a three-game set in Arizona, you might have thought it was the 25th of March, not April. Ross Gload led off and played right field; Greg Dobbs hit second and manned third base; Wilson Valdez started at short and hit seventh; Kyle Kendrick got the start.
But for four and a half innings, it worked like a charm: Dobbs put the Phils up 2-0 with a home run in the top of the first against former teammate Rodrigo Lopez, scoring Gload; Valdez scored the third run in the top of the fifth after reaching on a bunt single; and Kendrick held the Diamondbacks scoreless with four strikeouts through four. Then the wheels fell off, the brakes failed, and the engine exploded: Lopez led off the home fifth with a single, Phillie-killer Kelly Johnson followed with a two-run homer, Stephen Drew tripled, Justin Upton walked, and Mark Reynolds bombed a three-run blast to put the home team up 5-3.
Kendrick (barely) escaped without further damage, and when the Phils rallied for three runs in the top of the sixth and a 6-5 lead he was briefly in line for a win. Danys Baez tiptoed through trouble in the sixth, but allowed the tying run in the seventh; David Herndon, with a large assist from home plate ump Dale Scott and his Amazing Accordion Strike Zone, surrendered two runs in the bottom of the eighth, on a Reynolds double after he'd seemed to have the D'backs slugger struck out and a Chris Young bleeder single past Valdez. Arizona closer Chad Qualls struck out Dobbs and Chase Utley to end it, and the Phils lost a series in which Kris Benson, Ian Kennedy and Rodrigo Lopez started games against them.
To Messrs. Rollins, Blanton, Happ et al: get well, get well soon, we wish you to get well!