I need to begin with a sincere apology. I don't believe in jinxes, they're stupid. Players don't get hurt because they're on the cover of Madden, they get injured because they're playing an insanely violent game where damn near every player gets hurt at some point. Players don't start playing poorly because they were on the SI cover. They got on the cover by probably having an insanely hot streak that naturally cools off some. They're not jinxes.
I'm sure in 1974 the Lutz family thought ghost stories were all made up and could easily be explained away by logical reasoning. Then they moved to 112 Ocean Avenue, Amityville, NY in 1975. They only lived there 28 days. Lucky bastards. "Oh, but Cormican, they saw Demons." Pffft, whatever, I saw Durbins dammit, and I've been at this way more than 28 days. "Cormican, they're walls oozed slime." Have you watched this bullpen? I'd kill for some damned slime. "But they woke up in the Middle of the night to Demon faces" Are you familiar with our Right Fielder?
The experience has changed me. I'm thinking of having an exorcism or calling in a Delmonologist. It's too late to save today's game. It all started so well, but I should have known the dark clouds were looming just off screen. It began with Pettibone either walking or Striking out most everyone in the First. Then in the bottom half, Rollins and Michael Young scored.
Pettibone settled down and started striking guys out and getting a good bit of weak contact. Then he struggled through the 5th and 6th and lost the lead, going down 3-2. Pettibone was replaced in the 7th, but you can't hope for a much better start from him, 6 IP, 6K, 3 BB. Still, the clouds were now gathering stronger, I felt less excited about my recapping duties, I felt dread, the looming ghost of Durbins past.
Darin Ruf removed some of my angst very quickly with a commanding Homer to near dead Center just over the wall to tie the game. I love seeing home grown talent doing well, not just because I follow prospects and not because of the financial or production impact on the parent club. I enjoy it because, Like Brown before him, Ruf seems like a really, genuinely nice, likeable guy. He's worked hard and it's great to see him getting to play some MLB games and hit in a big spot like that.
The bottom of the 9th was the worst of it. I ran out quickly to get a burrito and one of those neat freestyle Cokes (Vanilla and Cherry. I recommend it), I came back to see that Frandsen and Ruf were on and had been balked to 2nd and 3rd. "The jinx is going to end. The jinx is going to end! I just had bad luck of getting losses. Every coin flip is 50/50, a half dozen tails in a row mean nothing." No one out, 2nd and 3rd? We're about to walk off! Fly out Chooch (runners don't advance). Nix K's, Revere lines out, we get free baseball.
The 10th inning was relatively uneventful. The Phillies got guys on and even in scoring position, but it never felt like they threatened the way they did in the 9th.
In the 11th, it started well, with 2 easy outs. Then JC Ramirez's luck kind of ran out. De Aza tripled, Ramirez Doubled, Rollins had an error and suddenly it was 5-3.
Darin Ruf led off the bottom half with a Double. After a Chooch groundout, Quintero PH's for Diekman and drove in Ruf with a Single to Center. McDonald PR'd for Quintero, but was erased, along with this game when Revere hit into a Double Play.
I'm really sorry guys and girls. Fangraph of green slime: