When I envisioned the start of Interleague play, I obviously envisioned us winning. I mean, we’re an American League team. We should be cleaning up with National League teams. Except that the Phillies are the Phillies, and when a National League team has an American League closer that you yourself trained, it represents a special set of circumstances that’s mighty difficult.
Bard only lasted five innings; he gave up five runs on three hits, including a solo shot in the fifth, and he walked five and struck out three. He threw ninety-four pitches. He was wild and inefficient, and despite the fact that our pitchers collectively have pitched well in our last few games, with the exceptions of Lester and Beckett they haven’t pitched long. If we continue like this, the bullpen may as well start every game and the starter may as well come out in relief. Seriously. Except that the bullpen didn’t really stem the flow yesterday; Albers pitched two shutout innings, but then Morales gave up a solo shot in the eighth.
Aviles hit a home run to put us on the board in the third. It landed just a few feet inside the pole in left. Our second run was plated by a sac fly in the fourth. Ross hit a solo shot of his own in the sixth, also just inside the pole in left. Not wanting to be left out of the action and finally delivering on his promise to go deep, Gonzalez let rip a solo shot in the eighth on a slider down and in, the second pitch of his at-bat. This one ended up in right field; it was his third of the year, and I hope he turns it around and has many, many, many more.
And, to put a cap on the evening, Bobby V. was ejected in the ninth. Byrd grounded out to short, and Bobby V. argued that Byrd should have been safe because the throw pulled Ty Wigginton off the mound. First base umpire Gary Darling even lost his gum in the argument, which was a decidedly an undignified moment. Honestly, if you slow it down and look at the play, you can see that Wigginton came off the bag. It was close, I will admit, but if you look at it and examine it, he came off the bag.
And the fact that Jonathan Papelbon of all people got the save in the ninth did not help anything in the least.
So two hours and fifty minutes, two injuries (Salty had to get stitches on his left year after getting hit in the in the fifth,and Ross had to get x-rays after fouling a ball off his left food in the eighth), four runs, eight hits (two more than Philly), three home runs , six runs, and one Papelbon save later, we lost by two. And that’s how we started Interleague play. Losing at the hands of a closer who reminded us just how much we’re going to miss him. I’m so frustrated, I don’t even know what else to say.