On Zombie Day in Phoenix, Arizona, the Phillies were beaten by the horrible Godbacks. There is so much about that sentence that, out of context, is worth wondering about. Zombie Day?
What the hell?
Zombie Day (or night or whatever) was a promotion, wherein facepainters and such would make you look like a creepy Zombie. You know, like, when the Phillies give away a Derby Hat or a Bobblehead or a Phanatic thing? Well, the Diamondbacks dress up like undead zombies.
And everyone knows what to do with zombies, right? You shoot them in the fucking head. Unless you're Brad Pitt, in which case you inject yourself with random diseases and walk right through them.
But I digress. Bert pitched six innings, but was tagged for seven hits, a pair of walks and four runs. He did strike out four, but left in possession of a season ERA of 5.81. That's not gonna get it done.
Bertnandez was clean until the fourth, when, after a leadoff walk to Miguel Montero, Aaron Hill blasted a two-run homer to left. In the fifth, Paul Goldschmidt hit an RBI single to right, bringing up Hill again, who hit a ground-rule double to center. Hill 3, Phillies 0.
Eerily, though, the D-Backs's starter Josh Collmenter, or, Coal-Mentor, as some would claim, also pitched six innings with five strikeouts. Unfortunately, the similarities ended there, as the Bauxite Tutor limited the Phils to four hits and kept them off the board entirely. The Phillies got the leadoff man on in the first, third, fourth and fifth innings against the Anthracite Instructor, but never moved any closer.
In the seventh, though, after the Lignite Lecturer had been replaced by Joe Thatcher, the bats came alive (zombie joke sortof except vampires not zombies but close enough). With one out, Marlon Byrd singled to left and Domonic Brown singled to center. This was all for Thatcher, and Kirk Gibson elected to go with former Barve Randall Delgado.
Carlos Ruiz then singled, loading the bases for Cody Asche, who drew an RBI walk. Tony Gwynn Jr, pinch-hitting for Bert, grounded to short, but D-Bags SS Cliff Pennington (a clear disgrace of his name) booted it. Brown and Ruiz scored easily, but Asche was, according to second base umpire Balkin' Bob, doubled up at second.
Ryne Sandberg, though, had other ideas.
This, sadly, turned out not to really matter much, as Ben Revere and Jimmy Rollins made relatively quick outs to end the frame, and no more harm was done.
Jake Diekman pitched a clean seventh for the Phillies, stranding one hit around a strikeout, before the Phillies would threaten again in the eighth. With one out, Ryan Howard stepped in against Oliver 'Douchebag' Perez.... Except he didn't step in. Or maybe he did. In any case, before Howard could take his ups, Sandberg came out to talk with the umpires, who evidently told Ollie that his undershirt was a distraction. Or maybe that he was a giant douchebag. Or perhaps both.
Most likely both.
"Ollie, you are a giant douchebag, and your shirt is an unnecessary distraction." - HP Umpire Mark Wegner.
This is a possible alternative explanation:
Thanks to those who clarified why Perez changed his uniform. Indeed, he had cut his sleeve. Howard first to notice and say something.— Bernie Pleskoff (@BerniePleskoff) April 26, 2014
In any case, Perez went and dropped his glove and took off his shirt right there on the field before retreating briefly to the dugout. Upon his return, he buried a 94 mph heater in the dirt about a foot outside. Obviously, dude was a bit upset.
Whatever was up with his shirt, I think Sandberg and either Utley or Howard were playing a bit of chess with the D-Backs, and it seemed to pay off.
In the event, Howard singled to left.
With Perez obviously frustrated, John Mayberry Jr. pinch-ran for Howard, as Byrd singled to deep left. Now, this is a bit misleading. D-Bax LF Tony Campana is fast. He is quite fast. He is perhaps one of the fastest men in baseball today. Byrd's hit would have been an easy RBI double against your average, all-bat, no-glove left-fielder. But against Campana, it was a straight single.
So instead of having runners on second and third, the Phils were left with runners on first and second for Brown's and Ruiz's groundouts. Still 4-3. Ugh.
In the bottom of the eighth, then, Sandberg went back to his bullpen and decided, "wow, these guys suck, so Imma stick with the lefty Diekman against a bunch of righties, mostly because Diekman's on Phrozen's fantasy team and fuck that guy." I'm guessing a little here, but that seems to be the most likely conclusion.
So Diekman it was. After inducing an easy groundout from Erstwhile Villain Hill, he allowed a moonshot to New Villain Filet-o-Fish, pushing the score to 5-3. Unnnnnnnngh.
On to the ninth, and GIANTDESERTDWELLINGSNAKES' closer Addison Reed. Now, Addison Reed sounds like the name of the 18th century daughter of the fifth Marquess of Queensburydarbyhamshireton or something, but don't let that fool you: he's a fine pitcher.
Asche grounded out. Formidable bat-off-the-bench Jayson Nix struck out.
But Revere singled up the middle, and advanced to second on defensive indifference. (Defensive Indifference is the dumbest thing ever.) Rollins singled, scoring Revere, and legit stole second himself.
Bringing up Chase Utley.
So, hey, we've got something going here.
Unfortunately, Cowardice Reed elected to walk Utley, bringing up Ryan Howard.
So, hey, we've got something going here.
Except, no, Howard was pinch-ran for. So instead, that brought up the lefty-mashing John Mayberry Jr. Against a good righty.
If you guessed, "Mayberry called out on strikes" as the result, you win the Obvious Prize, which is worth Zero Dollars. If you guessed anything else, you don't win, because the Obvious Prize was Obvious.
So, of course, Mayberry struck out. Because, you know, of course he did.
Hrmph. So much for a .500 record.
Fangraph of GIANT ZOMBIE CORNDOGS
The Phillies are now 11-12, which isn't terrible. Tomorrow and Sunday, Cliff Lee and A.J. Burnett, respectively, take the mound against the undead snakes, before we return home to the land of morning baseball early next week.