The Phillies pulled off an amazing 9th inning comeback against the lowly Pirates tonight, only to have Brad Lidge blow the save…again. Joe Blanton started the game and did not have a fun day pitching either. The home plate umpire, CB Bucknor was having a senior moment on the mound, except that the “moment” lasted all game long. He simply could not remember where the strike zone was. Originally titled “Ode to Forgetfulness,” I have renamed this video “Ode to a Senile Umpire:”
Consistency in umpiring is a rare feat these days. So poor Joe had a 2-1 lead going into the 6th inning; just when he thought he had a strikeout to end the inning, Bucknor issued a walk. The next batter knocked one out of the park off a visibly frustrated Blanton. Upon returning to the dugout, Blanton exacted his revenge on an innocent water bottle which was sent soaring through the dugout and eventually ricocheted out onto the field. Blanton ended his outing with 3 runs on 6 hits and 2 walks over 6 innings.
But Blanton had the right to be angry as the Phillies offense did him no favors; the lack of run support for the big righty is becoming a habit. In fact, Jimmy Rollins was the entire offense for much of the game. Rollins saw exactly two pitches in his first two at bats and both of them left the ballpark over the right field wall. Rollins received a sarcastic cheer in his third at bat when he actually took a pitch.
Matt Stairs started the game in place of Jayson Werth in order to get some work, but Stairs has not had a hit since July 11th. 24 at-bats later and he still does not have a hit. Of course, Werth pinch hit in the 8th and struck out with a man on third, so that was no help anyway. The Phillies left several men on third base throughout the game, including that inning. Scoring is the name of the game and that just did not happen tonight.
That is, not until the 9th inning…Carlos Ruiz and Ben Francisco hit back-to-back double to tie up the game at 3-3. Then Shane Victorino tripled to score Francisco and give the Phillies a 4-3 lead! But leave it to Brad Lidge to ruin the moment. Lidge gave up a single, the runner advanced to second on a passed ball and then the next batter hit a long single to Werth who bobbled the ball and a run scored. After that, Lidge pitched a little batting practice and gave up a long home run to Andrew McCutchen. Another blown save for Lidge and the Phillies lose! I am DONE with Lidge – bring back Brett Myers…NOW!
The Phillies will try for a win tomorrow behind a very downtrodden Cole Hamels. Cross your fingers folks; this ought to be almost as scary as Lidge coming into a game. Ugh.
Photo by Jenn