How do the Phillies score 11 runs on a Monday and then look like they have never lifted a bat on a Tuesday? The short answer is, that’s baseball. However, the Phillies hitters have gone through very odd stretches of offensive offense this year. For example, when they go 0 for 11 with runners in scoring position like tonight, it is a real head scratcher.
More difficult to bear than the lack of production was watching Cole Hamels pitch another gem while wondering why this team cannot squeeze out some runs for him. Hamels was not incredibly sharp tonight, but he was still very effective. In 6 2/3 innings, Hamels allowed only one run while striking out 13 Marlins batters.
The two runs managed by the offense came from a Placido Polanco double in the first and a Jayson Werth ground out in the 5th that scored Shane Victorino. Overall, the Phillies had only 5 hits, left 12 men on base and grounded into double plays twice. Wilson Valdez hit in double play #19 on the year which, for under 300 at-bats, has to be some sort of record. Of course, Valdez has done an admirable job filling in for Jimmy Rollins this year and had one of the 5 hits tonight.
So with the offense stuttering, the Phillies bullpen would have to hold down a very slim 2-1 lead. Chad Durbin closed out the 7th and Ryan Madson handled the 8th, despite putting 2 runners on base. But all the bullpen drama this year is taking its toll on my health. Let me paint a picture for you with a quick quiz:
“Watching the Phillies bullpen pitch in a close, 1-run game makes me want to…”
A – Vomit
B – Consult a psychiatrist to determine why the bullpen is making me insane.
C – Crawl in a dark hole and bang my head against the wall until I pass out.
D – All of the above
If you guessed D, you are either a genius or a Phillies fan….or, perhaps both. ;o)
On that note, we move on to the 9th inning; it was Brad Lidge time. After swallowing a bottle of Tums and debating how many glasses of wine would make this inning easier for me to get through, I finally glued myself to the couch and prepared for the inevitable roller coaster ride.
And yet, the ride was more of a carousel than a roller coaster. Lidge plowed through the Fish, earning the save and give the Phillies the 2-1 win. Also, the Braves lost tonight which means the Phils are 2 games ahead of the Braves!
Roy Halladay will go for the sweep tomorrow night…game time is 7:10pm!
Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography