Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Werth to the Rescue

With all the media attention centered on how fans would react to Jimmy Rollins last night, it turned out to be just another baseball game. Sure, Rollins got it pretty good from the fans in the first inning, initially in the top half when a grounder was hit to him at short and again in the bottom half when he lined out to right.

But in the end, the fans reacted as they always do. When Jimmy came up his second at bat, there were more cheers than boos, followed by some more boos in his third at bat, but in all fairness, the guy went 0-for-4 last night, dropping his average to .263. Frankly, Rollins continues to be the antithesis of an MVP this season. Having said that, Jimmy took it well, however, I think he should have came out wearing one of these:

Now that would have been funny.

Onto the game. Joe Blanton, since he came over to the Phillies, has become the epitome of this team. He's been infuriatingly inconsistent. First, he started out pitching like garbage. Then, he pitched extremely well. And last night, he was back to his old tricks, getting smacked around by the lowly Nationals through five innings last night, giving up four runs on eight hits. He was pretty awful.

Luckily for Blanton, the offense didn't act like Cole Hamels was pitching and actually bailed out its pitcher. Shane Victorino and Greg Dobbs did the heavy lifting as the Phils tied the game. Then, Charlie looked like he was going to do something very stupid, taking Ryan Madson, who was dominant in the top of eighth striking out the first two batters and forcing a weak grounder to himself on the third, out in a tie game for Brad Lidge. I understand getting Lidge up, but it looked like Manuel was going to go to his closer even if the game was tied—despite the fact Madson had an easy inning, wasn't due up and the Phils had already used two of their extra men. Plus, we've all seen how Lidge has performed in tie games lately—not good.

Luckily for Charlie, it turned out to be a mute point because Jayson Werth had simply had enough. The man of the odd, thin, flavor-savor facial hair launched a homer to the left field seats, leaving the game in Lidge's hands.

Mr. Perfect kept the name for yet another day, converting his 31st save in 31 tries. It was a much-needed win for the Phils—but as Wheels said during the game, it felt like one the Nationals could win. It certainly looked that way for a while, and had the Phils lost to a team with the worst record in baseball and a 10-game losing streak coming in, Rollins and his mates would have had a really rough go of it tonight.

However, the Phils win again, extending Washington's losing streak to 11, Billy Wagner is out indefinitely, and this mediocre division is still there for the taking. And by the way, Boo? Fuck you.

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