This was not a good baseball game.
Let me rephrase. This was not a good baseball game for the Phillies.
The Mariners, on the other hand, had themselves a great game. They stole four bases, three in the fist inning alone. Hisashi Iwakuma pitched eight fabulous innings, allowing four hits and striking out 11. The Mariners' offense got one run in the first inning, which was all Iwakuma would need, but not all he'd get. The Mariners would score five runs by the end of the night, all off of A.J. Burnett.
12 pitches into his evening, A.J. Burnett had more SBs allowed (3) than strikes thrown (2). Don't think I've ever seen that!— Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) August 19, 2014
That's how his night started. Here's how it ended.
Burnett cranked it up for 125 pitches. That's 8 times a Phillie has thrown 120+ this year. No other team has more than 5 games like that— Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) August 20, 2014
That's right. With the Phillies down five runs, Ryne Sandberg allowed Burnett to throw 125 pitches through 7 2/3 innings. If you're thinking "Gee, that sounds kind of stupid and even possibly irresponsible, it seems like Ryne Sandberg is bad at his job", then congratulations, you and I are thinking the exact same thing.
There's more to say about A.J. Burnett, though. I'll allow twitter to say it for me.
#Phillies Burnett currently has issued 74 walks this season, most in MLB. Next closest SP is #Orioles Ubaldo Jimenez with 66.— Meghan Montemurro (@M_Montemurro) August 19, 2014
Burnett's ERA since the All-Star break, including tonight: 6.45 #Phillies— Meghan Montemurro (@M_Montemurro) August 20, 2014
A.J. Burnett makes 27th start tonight, which increase player option from $8.5 million to $10 million. Jumps to $11.75 with 30th start.— Todd Zolecki (@ToddZolecki) August 19, 2014
All true facts!
The Phillies, down 5-0, attempted a comeback in the ninth. Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon decided to play matchups with two outs, and nearly overmanaged himself out of a win. Managers who do that nearly always deserve to lose, but the 2014 Phillies weren't about to give him his comeuppance. No, they had more important things to do. Like lose. Or have the tying run strike out to end the game, which led to them losing.
I'm not going to harp on tonight's game, even though it was the 28th time Phils had been shut out through six innings. I could harp on, and on, and on at length, but we all have lives to live. There is joy and happiness out there in the world, and we need to find it! Go, my children! Find excitement and love and laughter! And for the love of God, bring some back for me!