There’s no Happ-y hour at Citi Field.
JA Happ, the recent addition to the Phil’s starting rotation, barely lasted five innings and left pitches hanging that were twice hit over the fence in a park that used to brag an average of 1.4 dingers a game.
That’s all changed. The Metropolitans and the Phil-billies combined to hit a total of seven home runs.
Four were taken from Johan Santana who was possibly the most unhittable starter in baseball—until last night. Ryan Howard and Raul Ibanez hit back-to-back dingers in the fourth, Jimmy Rollins hit a two-run shot in the sixth, and Chase Utley hit a solo HR in the eighth to add to the offensive highlights.
But JA Happ tarnished his season record by allowing four earned runs, three of which came from two homers. But the evening wasn’t complete until Chad Durbin, who my husband calls “Disturbin’ Durbin,” held true to his quest and allowed another dinger to soar.
But with this 5-6 loss came some great defensive moments as well.
First, Raul the Great, played a Sheffield fly ball off the wall in the fifth and threw the aging athlete out on his attempt to stretch it to a double. That play earned Raul his fourth outfield assist of the season as a bunch more votes in the All-Star balloting were cast for “Ibanez.”
Then Carlos Ruiz tried so hard to tag Tatis out at home that the umpire gave him an “A” for effort as well as the first out in the sixth.
I’m so glad instant replay in the MLB is only applicable to home run calls because the fans in the stands made it clear Carlos missed the tag on the Fanavision replay.
Those “boooos” weren’t “Raaauuuuuls.”
Oh, well. One for us. Then one for them: Santana hit what they’re calling a “slug-bunt double.”
I’m not sure what that is except maybe it’s a fake bunt attempt that turns into a slug attempt. Or it’s a fake bunt hitter who turns into a surprise slugger. Or maybe it’s a batter with an .068 average who hits a surprising double. In any case, the Mets got restitution for the bad call at the plate.
Well, maybe not completely. Johan and the gang went on to score two runs while facing Clay Condrey.
That prompted my husband to coin a new term for what the Phil’s bullpen sometimes does—jack-assing.
Hey, we’ve all been known to represent that from time-to-time.
Then came the ninth. With pitching sensation, K-Rod, up to close, the chance to at least tie the game seemed remote. But when Jimmy Rollins slammed a single off the man who is perfect in saves this season, victory seemed within reach.
Especially when Matt Stairs stepped in to pinch hit for Carlos Ruiz.
Wait, for Carlos? Isn’t he hitting over .300? What the…?! Okay, I understand that he was 0 for 3 to that point and he only added a number to his stats in the “error” category, but Charlie… have you no faith?
Nope. Charlie wrote the “Manuel” on ballplayers, and with Matt back from watching his daughter graduate, one thing was certain—they fed him well.
He hit a ground ball that was sure to initiate a double play until J Ro knocked out the fielder at second and caused the throw to arrive late. And with Matt running, you can imagine how much time Jimmy had to buy.
I know! Matt has never won a footrace, even against the Comcast turtles! Give Jimmy an “A” for stalling.
And give J Ro a triple-A for being the leading hitter for the Phillies from the sixth spot in the lineup. You can’t argue Charlie’s intention there. Since he demoted Jimmy from lead-off, he’s had five hits in two games. Last night he was 3 for 4 with 2 RBI and a run.
And that’s against Johan Santana who I think was shaken and stirred. Even with his pitch count at 91 with 71 strikes, he managed only two strikeouts. And the Phils stayed within one run of a team that absolutely, positively had to win or face banishment for getting swept in a series by the Pirates.
Wow, Met fans are tough on their team, even when there’s a waiting list to get on their disabled list.
And did you hear? Manny broke his silence.
Personally, I think he escaped. And while he was loose, he was quoted in the LA Times as saying, “I didn’t kill nobody and I didn’t rape nobody.”
I’m glad he came forward, because I was waiting for a confession.
Wait. That wasn’t a confession. Let me read that again.
“I didn’t kill nobody and I didn’t rape nobody.”
There, I’m glad he said he was sorry for his actions.
Wait. That wasn’t an apology either.
Then what the hell was he talking about?
I guess my problem is, I don’t speak Man-tics.
Manny may have redefined semantics, but I don’t care.
Today the Phillies will master the entire game, but there's no shame in the way they played on Tuesday.