Wizard. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Too Little, Too Late. If only the British had more wizards, they might have stopped Jerry in Norway. Sadly, all they had were the Phillies.
The Phillies struck for five "unanswered runs" in the top of the ninth, but were unable to overcome an early 9-0 lead, and lost to Arizona in a real [bleep bleep bleep bleep] of [bleep] a [bleep bleep bleep bleep bleep bleep] game. Kyle Kendrick, spot starting in place of an injured Cliff Lee, was slammed for seven earned runs in three innings of work, and the D'Backs never looked back.
After the Phils went three up-three down in the top of the first, continuing their recent pattern of offensive ineptuity (yes that's a word), the D'Backs (that's not a word) struck quickly. Gerardo Parra led off by stroking a double off an 86-mph cutter that left "fielder" Juan Pierre should have been able to handle. Seriously. The ball landed in Pierre's glove and bounced out. Two pitches later, Aaron Hill hit another double, falsely called a homerun by umpire Angel Hernandez. This, incidentally, was the first replay call for the Phillies this season; and it scored Parra. The D'Backs continued the hit parade against Kendrick, who not only had lost some velocity, was also missing his spots.
When Charlie mercifully pulled Kendrick with no outs in the third, his line read like a J Reed post: 3IP, 11H, 7ER, BB, HBP, HR. Even the balls that weren't hard BABIP'd their way into base hits. On the other side of the line, Arizona's Wade Miley, an avid alligator hunter, Cy Young'd his way to six shutout innings. He allowed two hits and a walk, striking out seven, on 81 pitches. The Phils had no chance.
With Pete Orr thrown out at the plate after Pierre's 8th-inning single, things looked extra bleak for the Phils. In the ninth, though, things got a little more exciting. Placido Polanco led off with a single to left. Laynce Nix followed with a RBI double, and the shutout was gone. When Ty "Ted Williams" Wiggington, currently carrying a nine-game hitting streak and the second best OPS on the team*, reached on an infield single, the rally was on, and Shane Victorino came to the plate.
"In the air to left field, that's a shot, going back on it is Kubel, back to the warning track, to the wall, and it's GONE!"
Vic's HR pushed the score to 9-4, with no outs in the 9th. The first three-run homer for the Phils this season, Shane's blast won someone the Homerun Jackpot on CSN for the first time all year. However, a five run deficit, the way this team has played so far, is a real long shot, and the hope, what little there was, was indeed fleeting. But.
The next batter was Carlos Ruiz.
"Ruiz sends it in the air to right-center field, Parra on the run, to the track, to the wall, GONE!"
And all of a sudden it was a four-run game.
When John Mayberry reached on a misplayed infield single, it became a save situation, and visions of the Yankees' improbable win over Boston danced through our heads (don't lie--you know it danced through yours). Sadly, Freddy Galvis wizARD'd himself into a double play; and Pete Orr grounded out to end the threat. But still. It got fun there for a second, didn't it?
With the loss, the Phils fall to 7-10, the first time they have been three games under .500 since the pre-Cambrian era. Given that a 17-game sample represents the entire season, The Good Phight's collective hat is off to the Los Angeles Dodgers, who will finish 124-38, on the strength of Matt Kemp's 92 homeruns. The Phils hope to win another lost cause tomorrow behind Vance Worley and Dr. Manhattan, against the D'Backs' Dr. Francoise Coalminer **; at what my iPhone tells me will be a 5:40PM start.*** Yay timezones.
Around the leaguearoundtheleaguearoundtheleaguearoundtheleague
Jamie Moyer's start was postponed by rain. Moyer, being older than rain, proceeded to strike rain out and complain about kids on his lawn.
Lehigh Valley 1, Buffalo 5
Pat Misch: 4.2IP, 7H, 3R, BB, 3K. Hooray for nonprospects.
Phillippe Aumont: 1.1IP, 3H, R, 2BB, 3K
Michael "GM" Schwimer: 1IP, 2H, 2K
Domonic Brown: 1 for 4, K, verygoodOFplay
Mike Fontenot: 2 for 4, 2B, K, OHGODNO
Clearwater 8, Brevard County 7, Who names a team after a county ∞
Hector Neris: 2IP, 3K
Peter Lavin: 2 for 6, SB
Jim Murphy: 3 for 5, BB, K
Anthony Hewitt: 2 for 5, 2B, HR
Carlos Alonso: 3 for 5, 2B, K
Bob Stumpo: 0 for 5, we've got a guy named Stumpo
* Behind Cole Hamels.
** That's probably not his real name. I don't give a shit.
*** Only if you can see Russia from your house.