|Dome open in June + extra innings = SUNBURN|
No BP again. Toronto is also home to very few Phillies fans. I sat on the visitor's side and I could count the number of Phillies jerseys on 2 hands (1 Pence, 2 Utley, 1 Howard, 1 Lee, & 1 Halladay). Bizarre. I sat next to actual Philadelphians. Awesome. And safety in numbers.
|Fig 1: Clifton Phifer Lee|
Cliff Lee was on the mound today. He's 0-3 this season. He hasn't won a game since Sept. 26, 2011. WTF?! I thought that for sure he'd be able to pick up a win in Toronto. In the 8th inning, right before he got chased off the field: he had only thrown 86 pitches of which 65 were for strikes (75%). I think Romero had thrown that many pitches back in the 5th. True, Lee had given up a season high of 12 hits and 5 runs. He walked one and only struck out 3 over seven plus innings. But, he was the picture of efficiency. We five Phillies fans sitting in section 115 were ready to be pretty obnoxious in the 8th after Jimmy Rollins (J-Ro) hit an opposite-field double to put the Phillies ahead, 5-2. But, at the bottom of the 8th, Lee fell apart. He walked Jose Bautista. Edwin Encarnacion singled to left to score Bautista. 12 ft tall John Mayberry Jr. then threw the ball into J-Ro at short, who then tried to get it to Michael Martinez at 2B as Encarnacion headed for the bag. But, Rollins missed. Encarnacion came around to score and cut the Phillies' lead to 5-4. We were on our feet in DISBELIEF. Lee gave up a final hit to Kelly Johnson before Charlie Manuel signalled to the bullpen for Chad Qualls. J.P. Arencibia doubled off Qualls to even the game at 5. DEJECTION. I saw, especially with the Jays' tendency last year for squeezing out comeback wins, that ever elusive "W" slipping away. I also felt the chance at a postseason slipping away with it.
|Fig2: SPOTTED Charlie Manuel pulling Lee|
The Phils then turned to Schwimer and Savery to finish the game. The Jays have no starting pitchers. Ricky Romero isn't worried that he can't find the strike zone. He just doesn't want to come down with "elbow soreness." They brought in Cordero (the man who blows every game!) and still came out on top. I think I actually would have preferred (though begrudgingly) to see Papelbon earn his $50 million today.
|Fig 3: Hunter Pence and his awesome swing|
- Ryan Howard and Chase Utley are sorely needed back on the Phillies. Projected timeline for their return: like 2-3 years ... maybe it just feels that way with Ty 'Kingslayer'* Wigginton at 1B (?!). It was more effective for the Phillies to call off the Kingslayer on every in-field pop-up in favour of Martinez. He was awful. *"Kingslayer" was coined in-game.
- I saw my first ever live BALK (Savery, 10th innning).
- Hunter Pence's batting stance: the best in baseball?
- Charlie Manuel might be the man who invented baseball but watching him trot to the mound he didn't look a day over 97.