In the first inning of today’s Phillies – Pirates match-up, Chase Utley hit a solo home run off Paul Maholm; it was the first homer hit off the Pirate by a lefty all season. But after that, you may as well have taken a long nap because pretty much nothing happened all game until the 9th inning. I did come up with a few ways to pass the time though:
– Note all the different facial expressions Cole Hamels made each time a ball was called that he felt was a strike.
– Debate who is hotter: Utley or the poor guy in the Parrot/Pirate costume.
– Count the smudges on my TV screen
– Explain to my cat what a balk is
– Wonder why the cat wandered off mid-explanation
– Make a loud clicking noise with my tongue until I have annoyed myself
But it was actually a relief to see Cole Hamels have a boring game; boring is a nice change of pace for the lefty who has been pummeled all season-long. Tonight, Cole pitched 8 strong innings of scoreless baseball. He gave up 7 hits and 2 walks, but worked out of jams with relative ease. Is the old Hamels back? That remains to be seen, but this was certainly a good sign.
The Phillies had a rally going in the 9th inning, but again failed to score as Pedro Feliz decided that balls in the dirt were looking pretty good. So, with Brad Lidge on ice after 4 straight games and a disaster last night, Ryan Madson was given the nod to save the game. But while the Curse of Billy Penn seems to be over, the Curse of the Bullpen is not. This time it was Madson’s turn to BLOW the save! AAARRRGGGGHHHHH! A solo homer tied the game and sent it onto extra innings.
But luckily, Ryan Howard was having none of that; he blasted a 3-run shot in the 10th to give the Phillies a 4-1 lead. And then Madson was given a second chance to redeem himself. Pitching the bottom of the 10th inning, Madson did allow a lead-off hit, which he replied to with various forms of the “F” word and other assorted expletives. But after that, he got the three outs he needed and the Phillies won. Hamels did not get the win as a result of the blown save, which was the real shame of it, but a win is a win :O)
One more game with the Bucos! JA Happ will take the mound tomorrow at 7:05pm and try to make us all Happ-Y!
Photo by Jenn