Reds pitcher Aaron Harang lost seventeen games last year, tying a club record.
But last night he was the CEO, and Great American Park was K-Mart. Strikeouts were the blue-light special with deep discounts given on walks back to the bench.
It was no game for streakers—the Phillies blew their five-game winning streak, the Reds stopped their losing run at four, and Jimmy Rollins let his ‘hit and run’ streak end at eight.
And everyone knows if Rollins isn't hitting, the odds are against winning. Simply put, our team was out pitched and out hit.
But we looked damn good doing it.
Pitching is a combination of components: the cosmic and the cognitive; the mental and the mechanical. Even though Jamie Moyer was the master of most last night, the honorary doctorate was denied his decree, proving the 250th win doesn’t come free.
Hits were dropping like jaws at a bachelor party, like pants at an MLB drug test, or like Madonna dishes boyfriends (hey, is that an A-Rod joke?).
Moyer was even called on a balk. That will get you a dose of Cialis. His pitches were faster than the guy in the upper deck who forgot to take his Flomax, but that didn’t help a game where the offense couldn’t get it together. The Phillies went for that high fast ball more times than Sarge fell for a bad hat.
But we looked damn good doing it.
Moyer would have been the oldest player in baseball history to reach 250 wins. That’s impressive, especially if you factor in his age handicap. I don’t know how that relates to dog years, but it’ll never be worse than the handicap I hold in golf or bowling, even when I use bumpers.
But I’m sure Jamie doesn’t have to use inflatable guides. Then again, at his age, maybe he should give them a try.
The good news is Ryan Howard showed prowess at the plate by laying off those breaking balls when he was behind in the count. Especially in his third at-bat where he exhibited the patience of an old-timer, drawing twelve pitches on his trek to a 3-2 count, and still took his base.
They grow up so fast.
After showing selflessness in the last two games to let the other guys take the praise, Raul Ibanez decided to step to the plate and get the party started. He hit a solo home run in the fourth inning—his 14th of the year.
But even though the Phillies have the best winning percentage when trailing after seven, we couldn’t pull it off. The Ibanez bomb was the only run and we stranded five guys just like the hamburger stand (sorry that’s an east coast joke).
Jamie only gave up three runs, but Disturbin’ Durbin put the win out of reach when he added two earned runs off a triple on a bad hop in the seventh.
That’s when my husband went to bed.
He looked damn good doing it.
The sad part was, with just over 15,000 in attendance, the Reds’ stadium seemed so empty in spots it looked like the Acme ran a special on beans. I’m not sure what my son ate but he smelled funky too.
How’s that for going green?
In other news, Jayson Werth turned thirty yesterday. But he got no gifts. The Reds denied him a hit four times. There are oh so many ways I’d like to make it up to him, but given the space restraints of this column (along with the new stalker laws), I think I’ll settle for blowing him a kiss.
There, I hope he felt that. And I hope it didn’t land simultaneously with something released overhead by a bird.
Ibanez is the “Phillie of the Week.” He’s the league leader in a bunch of ways with 9 hits, 3 HRs, and 9 RBI on the week while batting .481. But there’s still no mention of that calendar or even a centerfold. And I’ve offered numerous times to help with make out…I mean makeup.
JC Romero had a twelve-pitch scoreless inning in the minors—a much better outing than his first. But with the way Sergio Escalona pitched last night, my anxiousness to have JC back has been abated. At least for now.
The new leftie, coming off his first major league win against the Nationals, threw three pitches to strike out Jay Bruce on a breaking ball to end the seventh. That’s impressive, especially for someone who’s still suffering from pre-prom jitters.
So the Phils earned a good-willed "L" after five straight "W's."
Just like my youth, all good things must come to an end.
But I looked damn good losing it.
See you at the ballpark.