There was really no other way the Phillies season at Citizens Bank Park could end. Toying with our emotions, making us think that the game would be easy, and then that not happening and things falling apart in a predictable yet heartbreaking fashion.
The Phillies got things going against Gio Gonzalez in the first inning, loading the bases on a single and two walks. Big Darin Ruf hit a double to clean them off and give the Phillies a 3-1 lead. And then... eight innings of nothing while Tyler Cloyd gave up three homers and six runs in 5 innings. One was a first inning solo shot to Bryce Harper, and the other two were to Michael Morse, who to me looks like Howie D. from the Backstreet Boys. Gonzalez calmed down and kept the Phillies in check, and then the bullpen took over in the seventh inning and that was all she wrote.
The lone highlight of the game was Darin Ruf, who had two hits on the night. Rubbing salt in the wound of this loss (and this season) was Scott Franzke and Larry Anderson spending most of the evening reminding listeners that Gio Gonzalez was once in the Phillies system. Hey, did you know that Gio Gonzalez was once in the Phillies minor league system? I totally did, but please tell me another 78 times because he's a great pitcher and I'd loooove to think about how he's not on the Phillies but on the Nationals, a division rival.
The Phillies went a dismal 17-29 in the first half, and a more respectable 23-11 since. Tonight's loss means they don't finish the season with a .500 record at home. That ends an 11-year streak of playing at least .500 ball at home. As Franzke said on the broadcast, the Phillies really buried themselves in the first half. The fact that they dug themselves out of that hole is an accomplishment, and just as I was feeling good about that, the TV broadcast decided to show the Jim Thome walk-off against the Rays, and I missed him terribly, and I missed summer and baseball and a time when the Phillies could have actually played well and had a chance to make the postseason. And I missed Shane Victorino for some reason. The Winner Ford commercials just aren't the same without him.
Fangraph of the waning days of baseball, and also shut up about Gio Gonzalez already: