Let the Boo’s begin…now, I do not condone booing, but there will be no avoiding it after the Phillies blew another lead today for their 5th loss in a row; 7 losses in their last 8 games. And they blew it yet again in spectacular fashion.
The offense had only two hits through the 6th inning; one from Greg Dobbs and one from Paul Bako. No runner had advanced past first base either. And JA Happ had an adventurous start on the mound; Happ allowed only 2 runs, but had a lot of base runners. With 10 hits and 4 walks given up to the Orioles, Happ was having some issues. But to his credit, he got out of the jams and nailed down 6 innings to keep the Phillies in the game.
Despite all that, the Phillies were poised to win the game after Ryan Howard tried to play hero. In fact, maybe Howard should get sick more often…he spent time in the hospital earlier today with a 104 degree temperature and was held out of the game’s staring line-up tonight. Dobbs started at 1st base, Matt Stairs started in left and Bako got his first start at catcher. But it was Howard who tried to break the game open in the 7th inning, despite his fever. Coming in to pinch hit with 2 men on base, 2 outs and the Phillies trailing by a score of 2-3, Howard nailed a 3-run homer to straight away center field. And just like that, the Phillies who had been silent all game long, suddenly seemed to develop a heartbeat. It’s Alive!! Or, is it?
Well, things got bad again, very quickly…and again, it was Ryan Madson who did the damage. He gave up a solo home run to Greg Zaun in the 9th and then, with 2 strikes on Brian Roberts and 2 outs, he threw a fastball down the middle of the plate and Roberts knocked it over the fence, scoring 2 runs. Madson blows another save. OMG. I am sure no one feels worse about how this week has gone than Madson, but do we all see now why he should NOT replace Brad Lidge? Many critics have complained about Lidge blowing saves this year and suggested Madson take over; clearly, this is not the role for Madson. He tries too hard, he over throws and you see the results. I feel for Madson; this is not the role for him. But this was apparent to me 2 blown saves ago, so why has nothing changed? JC Romero is better suited to close. Can we give it a try at least? Please? It is not fair to anyone, including Madson, to let this go on as is.
I will be at the game tomorrow and return with photos and a report on how the crowd reacts to the team after this disastrous home stand. Wish me luck…