If it's interleague play, you pretty much know it's not gonna go well for the Phillies. After an uncharacteristically excellent performance in a win Friday night behind a great Cole Hamels start and home runs from Ryan Howard and Jayson Werth, the Phils reverted to miserable form in their last two games against the Red Sox, first getting shut out and nearly no-hit by Daisuke Matsuzaka Saturday and then flailing helplessly against 43 year-old knuckleballer Tim Wakefield in a miserable 8-3 loss.
Not even Roy Halladay was proof against the Phillies' interleague miseries. Halladay's career 14-15 record against Boston is his worst against any opponent, so perhaps it's not surprising that his first start facing the Sox in 2010 was by far his worst as a Phillie. That said, Halladay wasn't awful through his first five innings Sunday; were it not for a second-inning Kevin Youkilis triple that Shane Victorino could have and probably should have caught, and a dead double play ball two innings later with the bases loaded that shot through the legs of Greg Dobbs as two runs scored, the game might have been scoreless. The sixth inning, though, was all on Roy: Youkilis led off with a solo home run, and later Marco Scutaro and Jacoby Ellsbury each added RBI singles--two runs on Ellsbury's despite the fact that it didn't leave the infield. That was it for Halladay, who saw his season ERA rise from 1.64 to 2.22. Any causal relationship between that 132-pitch complete-game loss Charlie Manuel kept him out for against Pittsburgh last Tuesday and Sunday's hot mess is entirely implied.
Wakefield meanwhile floated his knuckleball in and out, up and down, to the increasing frustration of Phillies hitters. In eight innings, he held the Phils to five hits and two walks, striking out just one but needing only 103 pitches. The home club just managed to avoid a second straight shutout by scoring three runs off Ramon Ramirez in the 9th, as Jayson Werth and Raul Ibanez hit back to back doubles and Ross Gload contributed a two-run pinch-homer.
On behalf of all at The Good Phight, let me express my sincere hope that you found something better to do with your Sunday afternoon than watch this unpleasantness.