Why lie to you fine people? Why sugarcoat? Today's game was horrible. It was unpleasant to watch. Making it to the end was a chore. By the seventh inning, I was hoping my power would go out so I didn't have to watch the game anymore. I also would have been ok with a power outage at the stadium. Or a sudden torrential rain storm over Citizens Bank Park. Or the unexpected appearance of angry, vengeful viking ghosts on the baseball field. Or an invasion of hamsters teeming from the dugouts.
It wasn't shitty from start to finish, at least. The first four innings actually went really well. Kendrick held the Royals to two hits. The Phillies scored four runs on nine hits. Domonic Brown and Erik Kratz hit their first homers of the year, and Kendrick doubled on a ball that just barely missed being a home run. Ryan Howard had two hits, including his first of the year. Chase Utley also had two hits, bringing his average to a sparkling .467. (I know it's a small sample size. I'm trying to find things to be happy about. JUST LET ME HAVE THIS.)
Things started to go bad in the fifth. Kendrick loaded the bases (though a late throw from Jimmy Rollins didn't help much), and with two outs he allowed a single to Eric Hosmer which scored two runs. In the bottom of the inning, former Phillie Bruce Chen entered the game in relief, having lost his starting job. Lefties hit .314 against Chen last year, and the Phillies happened to have switch hitting Rollins leading off, followed by lefties Utley and Howard. So it made total sense when Chen struck out Rollins and Utley, and Howard grounded out to first base.
When the sixth inning started, everything was still ok. The Phillies were still winning. At that moment in time, I was blissfully unaware of what was about to happen. I want to go back there. Back to before. Someone please take me back.
And then it was just... circus music. A single and a double against Kendrick brought up Billy Butler, who wasintentionally walked so Jeremy Horst could face Alex Gordon. Can you guess what happened next? I bet you can! Gordon hit a bases clearing triple, and just like that Kendrick went from being in line for the win to being on the hook for the loss. The Phillies were only down 5-4 in the seventh, but it was then that things began to get comically bad, a state in which things would remain for the rest of the game. Horst loaded the bases with no outs, and then Charlie Manuel brought in Chad Durbin. Because in that situation, why would you want a strikeout guy? Oh wait, that's exactly what you want. Unless you're a moron. Yeah, Durbin's outing didn't go very well. He allowed all three of Horst's baserunners to score, and then tacked on one of his own. Durbin also walked Jeff Francoeur. I'm going to type that again to make sure it sinks in. Chad Durbin walked Jeff Francoeur. That is hard to do. There is a silver lining, though -- Durbin did lower his ERA from infinity. I mean, he lowered it to 27.00, but that's still technically better than infinity.
Raul Valdes pitched the eighth and ninth innings and he was also very very bad. Seven hits and four earned runs. The boos from the crowd were frequent and lusty. The crowd sprinted for the exits. I spent the ninth inning imagining how awesome it would be if baseball players got to ride kangaroos when they were fielding. I mean, they'd be beneficial to outfielders with all that ground to cover, and I bet that pouch could hold some useful stuff, and come on, how adorable and silly would everyone look riding kangaroos, right? Ben Revere on a kangaroo! Or better yet, Ben Revere riding an ostrich! Or an aardvark!
In the bottom of the ninth inning, when the sparse crowd began to cheer and wave rally towels, it was hard to tell if they were being supportive or sarcastic.
Through four innings, the Royals had 2 hits. By the end of nine innings, they had 19. 19 hits. That's 17 hits over five innings. The Phillies, on the other hand, went in order the last six innings.
Maybe tomorrow will be better. Or maybe tomorrow, the hamsters will come.
God, do I really have to post the fucking graph? Ok, fine. Here it is. Your Fangraph of angry, vengeful aardvark viking ghosts: