Baseball Toaster Bad Altitude
Phillies 6, Rockies 5 (10 innings)
2007-09-11 09:35
by Mark T.R. Donohue

I didn't want to write about this one. I thought I'd give the Rockies another game and see how they responded. I've written them off before this year, and maybe they still have it in them to win three in a row in Philadelphia. It's not impossible. But last night's loss was a stomach-punch game if there ever was one. Ubaldo Jimenez continues to look more and more like he belongs in a contending rotation every start, and the offense certainly showed up. Unfortunately, every single call in this game went the other way, from a fan-deflected home run that wasn't to a walk to Chase Utley on a ball that clearly caught the corner to a strike called against Brad Hawpe that was at least eight inches off the plate. Also Clint Hurdle overmanaged the seventh and did that stupid thing where with a game on the line he put in the veteran guy instead of the best matchup and guess what, fastball pitcher Jorge Julio threw a fastball to fastball hitter Pat Burrell that might still be rising now -- it certainly had more than enough juice to get out of the living pinball machine that passes as the Phillies' home park.

Hey, at least Willy Taveras is hurt. Did you see Ryan Spilborghs' throw home in the win Sunday? It's possible Taveras could have thrown that ball as far as he possibly could, ran to pick it up, and then thrown it the rest of the way into the infield and gotten the guy out, but not likely.

Not a lot to break down about the season from here on out. No more losing, period. We'll see if they have the intestinal fortitude to come back from this. Hurdle has stacked the odds against the team with his continual tone-deaf use of a solid but overworked bullpen. After Jeff Francis, Josh Fogg, and Jimenez did their absolute best to save the relievers, Hurdle sabotaged their good work by going matchup-crazy in the late innings, preventing any of his relievers from getting into a good groove, and probably costing the Rockies at least one more game in this series already. Things were set up nicely with Taylor Buchholz coming off an injury for Colorado to hold him back for a three- or four-inning start in the infamous TBA starter game coming up against the Phillies. Of course Clint had to burn through four pitchers in three innings like an incontinent and leave an unprepared Buchholz hung out to dry in the tenth; once again, the Rockies lose a close game they had to win without using their best reliever, Manny Corpas, something that is becoming a Hurdle specialty. Corpas did have to throw one-and-two-thirds innings on Sunday but come on. You don't lose in extra innings with the best bullet left unused in your gun. Good NL managers know that. Clint is obviously not a good manager. Why can't he pull a hamstring?

Well, it's Franklin the Unready versus Eaton the Very Hittable tonight at Citizen's Bank. I can't bear to watch and I can't turn my eyes away.

2007-09-12 06:54:22
1.   Chris Cobb
In the words of Harry Doyle, "How about that?"
Just as you have been the last few weeks, I'm also trying to ward off this awkward feeling that I think is playoff hope. But I couldn't help but enjoy last night's fantastically sound ass-whomping.
Good to see Franklin Morales pick up a win and I can't remember Helton hitting a ball that far on the road in the last two seasons. Sure they could easily blow the next two, but to come back and play well last night after Monday's debacle does prove that this team has a lot more fortitude than it has quality starting pitching.
Back to Monday, it doesn't seem fair to me that if a Phillies' fan in right field was a little more coordinated and caught the ball, Yorvit Torrealba has a grand slam and the Rockies probably win the game. It seems to me that the team was dealing with somewhat of a grey area in the murky rule zone that is fan involvement. If a major league manager (no matter how clearly inept and out of touch with baseball fundamentals) is actually arguing whether the fan reached up or down to catch a ball, the result of that argument shouldn't have two runs hinging on it.
I'm fine with Rockies getting beat. I dealt with that emotionally years ago. But having an opposing fan's ineptitude take at least one and maybe two runs off the scoreboard will not stand, man.
Also, I know they're on the road but until they get rid of Dinger the league will never take them seriously.
2007-09-12 10:09:02
2.   moomacher
How is our purple dinosaur any different than the neon green thing that the Phillies have?
2007-09-12 12:21:57
3.   Chris Cobb
I guess the Phanatic is just one of the more recognizable mascots in sports so I give him a free pass. You're probably right, though. I shouldn't be so hard on Dinger. He's not any more or less obnoxious than any other mascot. I think after so many down years I've somehow fashioned him in my mind into a big fuzzy purple symbol of losing.
Although I'd be interested to see how other Toaster folk rank their favorite mascots.
2007-09-12 19:14:32
4.   Woden325
3 I much prefer the Sky Sox's "Sox the Fox" to Dinger. All mascots must bow before the San Diego Chicken, though.

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