After a 4-2 win over the Braves on Tuesday night, the Phillies felt good entering Wednesday’s game. The offense was finally starting to score runs and they would have ace pitcher Roy Halladay on the mound. Even better, they took a 6-0 lead into the 5th inning.
Placido Polanco just kept getting hits and Shane Victorino road his coat tails. Then Laynce Nix smashed a bases-clearing, 3-run double in the 3rd. Things were going very, very well.
Then the impossible happened…Halladay got hammered. If you try saying out loud, “Halladay blew a 6-run lead,” it may actually seem like you are speaking Greek. Add to that, “Halladay gave up 8 runs in less than two innings,” and you now have the equivalent of an extra-terrestrial language never before spoke on planet earth.
But that is exactly what happened. The Braves disassembled the Doc like he was a faulty robot that short circuited. The beating even included a Grand Slam, just to add a little more salt to the wound. Ouch.
Halladay has not looked like his old self in a few games now and the questions about his health are bound to pile up like a mound of steaming dog poo. Whatever is going on, it does not smell good.
If you think about the way the Phillies offense has played so far this year, just as unthinkable as Halladay getting hit for 8 runs is this team coming back after those 8 runs.
And yet, the temporary reassembly of this Phillies game began with a 3-run homer off the bat of Carlos Ruiz in the 7th inning. Chooch was determined to get his pitcher off the hook, because in the 8th inning, he added 3 more runs with a bases-clearing double. That gave him a total of 7 RBI on the night. Insane.
With a 12-8 lead in the 8th, the insanity was not yet over. As hard as Ruiz worked to get the Phillies ahead, the bullpen seemed to work just as hard to blow it. By the time Jose Contreras was pulled, he had allowed a run and loaded the bases, thanks in part to a huge error by Jimmy Rollins.
Michael Schwimer came in to pitch and walked in a run on 4 pitches. And of course, the next batter singled in 2 more runs to tie the game…again. This time, it was 12-12. But that did not last long. Schwimer gave up a sac fly and Braves took a 13-12 lead.
You could not have scripted a weirder game. And I could not have shouted any more cuss words at my TV. Not because I could not think of any…because I lost my damn voice. If you ever find yourself asking the question, “How do you blow a huge lead…multiple times?,” just watch a replay of this game. Disgusting.
Think the Phillies had a second comeback in them? Well, they did tie it up…again…13-13 in the 9th, sending the game to extra innings. But relief pitcher Brian Sanches, on the roster for David Herndon who is on the DL, gave up a 2-run homer to Chipper Jones in the 11th. The walk-off win for the Braves wasted the only solid offensive effort from the Phils all year. Just sickening.
If you can stomach it, game 3 with the Braves starts early on Thursday at 12:10pm.
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Photoshopping by Jenn Zambri Photography