Something tender and sad about this photo. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE
It started like Romeo and Juliet, but it ended in tragedy.
Chase Utley struck a long home run in his first at-bat of the season, followed immediately by a solo bomb by mayoral candidate Carlos Ruiz, and the Phillies took a 2-0 lead and some very, very good feelings into the top of the second. And from there, things unraveled.
Due to Sunday's doubleheader, and some questionable planning and/or indifference from management, the Phillies were left with a "bullpen game" tonight. And if you've followed this Phillies team at all this season, you know just how nauseating that could be. And it delivered!
The bad? Pretty much everyone else.
The Pirates struck first in the second inning on a two out three run home run from Michael McKenry, and would proceed to add five more runs before the Phillies would finally answer back, scoring two in the sixth and three in the seventh to narrow the deficit to 8-7, but failed to score again despite having runners on first and second with no outs.
Chad Qualls entered in the top of the eighth and the Pirates put it away, thanks to a two run home run from Andrew McCutchen, who it should be noted is entering the inner-circle of All-Time Phillie Killers.
In all, though, a choppy game was probably to be expected, but the magnitude of the misery exceeded what was reasonable. The good takeaway, of course, is Chase Utley, who had three hits (and a very long flyball out to center field in his second at-bat) and made several nice plays in the field, looking none the worse for wear.