Last night’s Phillies – Reds game looked like it might wind up being an exciting win for the Phils. Instead, it was a loss, although it was still an interesting contest.
The Phillies took the lead in the game and then lost or tied it again 3 times. Ryan Howard drove in a run in the 1st and that was all the scoring through the first 6 innings. Cliff Lee was pitching well, but a slim 1 run lead seemed, as it has all season long, unlikely to hold up.
Sure enough, Lee got into trouble in the 7th and gave up 3 runs, although 1 was unearned due to a Howard error. The defense behind Lee ranged from spectacular to awful, with the Howard error being of the “awful” variety.
But before that, Lee worked out of a 6th inning jam thanks to some amazing defense. Kevin Fransden dove for a ball at third, flipped around on the ground and threw home from his knees to get a force out and save a run. You have to see it to believe it. It was an incredible effort.
Later in the game, Fransden shined again with another toss from his knees that bounced 3 times and still landed securely in Howard’s glove at 1st. He also had 3 hits in the game with an RBI-triple in the 8th to once again tie the game for the Phillies. If they had not lost, Fransden would have been the hero in this one for sure.
But Jonathan Papelbon tossed exactly 1 pitch in the 9th and gave up a solo homer and broke the tie in favor of the Reds. The 5-4 score was the final.
So poor Cliff Lee gets yet another no-decision in what was a winnable game. Lee was visibly upset and seen slamming his glove onto the bench in the dugout. For a guy who normally shows little emotion, this was very telling. Lee has had enough of this crazy season, as have we all.
And yet, time marches on…and so does this season whether we like it or not. Game time tonight is 7:05pm.
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Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography