Monday, April 7, 2008

Opening Weekend in Cincinnati

After a poor opening series with the Nationals, Charlie has only managed to lose 1 game for us. Hey, one out of three isn't that bad is it? At this rate, he'll only lose 60 games for us, that leaves about 20 or so for the players to lose for themselves.. So lets jump in to the weekend and see what uncle Charlie has in store for us.

Friday Night, Kyle Kendrick's season start was just as anticipated as Brett Myers. Unfortunately for Kyle, his first game ended much like Brett's. 5 innings, 4 earned runs, 2 walks and 1 K. But there was a glimmer of hope in this game. For the second straight game, the bullpen was solid. Going the remaining 4 innings without giving up a run. Fueled by Utley's two homers, the Phils managed their second win of the season, pulling to .500 at 2-2.

Then came Saturday. I have to say that thank God this game was on in the middle of the afternoon and not at night. Hopefully not to many people saw it, or we might have had a mob on our hands. Saturday started as a loss. Every Phillies fan expects a loss every 5 games at the hands of Adam Eaton. So as I sat down on Saturday to watch the first lose of many from the overpaid starter, I was disheartened even more when the game started with a run for the Reds in each of the first two innings. It looked like it was to be a long afternoon. But amazingly something happened, Eaton settled in. This Phils managed to get on back in the third, and another in the sixth, and going into the 8th inning, Eaton was going strong and the game was tied. In the top of the eighth, the mighty giant that is Ryan Howard crushed a bomb that is still going to center field to catapult the Phils to a 3-2 lead. Eaton had done it, he managed to hang on to allow the offense to take over. Brad Lidge, our much anticipated free-agent acquisition was available and it was time for the set up man, Gordon, and the closer to do their work.

Here's where Uncle Charlie decided to wake up from his nap. Bottom of the eighth inning comes and who is trotting out to the mound? ADAM EATON!! What? This can't be! He's pitched a great game, he has the lead in the eighth. Charlie, don't ruin a good thing.... But in his infinite wisdom Charlie allows Eaton to pitch, and to boot doesn't pull Eaton after the home run, but instead waits until the following double, to yank him and bring in your setup man. Way to go Charlie. But wait, he's not done yet.

The ninth inning rolls around and its time to once again put a pitcher in the ninth with the game tied. As if he had thrown a dart at a board, out trots...Chad Durbin. The only one more stunned at this move than the fans, was Chad himself. Apparently Brad Lidge was taking a leak at the time, because Durbin, the guy who's happy with no role on the team, is going to stave off the Reds in the ninth.... yeah...

So when Chad gives up a lead off walk to Dunn, and another to Encarnacion, we are still left scratching our heads. As Norris Hopper successfully bunts over the two runners to give them 2nd and 3rd with 1 out. Paul Bako comes to the plate.

My 11 year-old son could have realized that Bako needed to be walked to set up the double-play. Otherwise it would require a miracle play to get a runner out at home, or a strike out and Chad was having a bit of trouble finding the plate. Bako hits a weak grounder to short, Jimmy looks at the runner going home and out of instinct throws to first..... I guess he didn't want to get charged with an error... Run scores, Phils lose. Uncle Charlie strikes again. Phils 2-3 Charlie 0-2.

Sunday's Game, Unfortunately things are not looking well for Brett. Who once again went 5 innings, giving up 4 earned runs, 3 walks and 4 strikeouts. Followed up by a stellar performance by Clay Condrey who allowed another 4 runs in 2 innings. The only plus out of this game was Lidge got some throwing time, and looked solid, although that probably means he won't be available for Monday's game... good thinking...

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