There’s one thing the Phillies loss did last night, it made it easy to find my car.
When Jack Taschner replaced Antonio Bastardo after seven innings of five-hit, four-run baseball, it didn’t take long for the reliever to clear the stands.
My husband, the self-proclaimed Phillies pitching critic, has been known to coin a term here and there to capture his frustration.
So far he’s created “Disturbin’ Durbin” to describe his delight with reliever Chad Durbin, and crafted a catch-all phrase to describe what the bullpen does in poor outings.
He calls it “jack-assing.”
So it’s only fitting that Jack Taschner fell victim to my husband’s wit as well.
Jack ran the gamut of stats. In two innings he struck out one, walked one, gave up three earned runs, and made sure one of the five hits allowed cleared the outfield wall.
My husband says he shall now be known as “Trash-ner.”
I say he was just being efficient. Like a good multitasker, “Trash” was getting more done in less time.
But the batters were getting less done with more.
The Phillies offensive put 11 guys on base: five from walks, but could only get two home. Jayson Werth continued his hot streak going 2-4 and collected both RBI. And the new tall drink of water, John Mayberry Jr., managed two hits too. But add a single by Carlos Ruiz and the 17th double of the season for Shane Victorino and that pretty much completes the show.
Last night I decided I’d forget about all the Phil’s shortcomings and do something that would bring the players closer to me—bait them over with candy.
I’m sorry, was I thinking out loud?
Actually I decided I’d examine one player through my binoculars—a good looking one.
My victim was Shane Victorino. I stalked him because first, he had the inaugural hit of the night; second, the huge green stain on his backside lured me in like a latte, and third, his image was tainted during a prior game round of “Ask the Phillies.”
If you’ve never been to Citizens Bank Park, let me explain.
In “Ask the Phillies,” one of the ball-girls poses a question to the players.
Wait, ball-girls can speak?
I know I was shocked too.
Anyway, the answers are previously recorded and played back on Phanavision. In one go-round, Victorino was badmouthed by the following question, “If you were stuck on a deserted island, which one of your teammates would you want with you?”
Well, not only did no one pick the hustlin’ Hawaiian, some of the guys verbally excluded him before sharing their actual choice.
What could be so bad about Sugar Shane?
He has hustle and guts, not to mention eyes in the back of his head when it comes to fly balls. I’m sure all these things could be useful on an isolated land mass.
Well, while dissecting his baserunning, I discovered why no one wants to be left alone with Victorino and why a position clear out in center field suits him.
He’s pesky. He’s a non-stop display of perpetual motion.
He danced on the base path, dug up the dirt around it, harassed the baseman, and even swatted a guy with his gloves. Then after he stole third, he stood on the grass next to the third base coach to chat—while the ball was still in play—just to taunt people.
Honestly, it looked like he had ants in his pants. And I feel like if he had a magnifying glass he’d be burning them like a little kid.
I now call him “No-Shame” Victorino. But he’s still one of my favorite players. And one of the cutest.
But I’m still concerned that the faltering bullpen will make that one-year contract man a prime candidate to trade for an A-list arm.
Better gather up your Shane memorabilia, girls, it might have just increased in value.
And if Brad Lidge doesn’t find his groove in his rehab stint in AA, his bobblehead may rest in peace.
Well, the Phillies have lost six of seven at home. Last night they lost the first of three to the team with the worst road record in the American League.
But even New York saw those little town blues go melting away as they bounced back to win one against the Marlins last night.
So there’s hope.
There’s hope that the Phillies will discover their world champion fashion and ascend from this chasm unscathed. I just hope they pinpoint the problem.
I’m afraid it might be a home field curse. I know about those, I suffer from one every month.
Maybe that’s it—June is the month the Phils “cycle.”
Why didn’t they say something?
In that case, I totally sympathize. I’m just coming off mine.
Here’s my advice: take two aspirin, where loose clothing, eat lots of chocolate, and rent a good tearjerker.
Whatever you do, don’t do something drastic to your hair—you’ll regret it in the morning.
I don’t know what’s more troublesome, their sluggish bats, the stagnant bullpen, the indifferent defense, or the big blemish forming on my chin.
I need to find my Clearasil, my “complexion” enhancing drug, to fight the pimple I got from eating too much chocolate, my “zit” enhancing drug.
Until the Phillies manage another victory, the cocao in my Dove bars is the only “wit” enhancing drug I have.
So the Mets pulled within two, the Phils can’t win, and I have a zit on my chin. It attracts stares like a closer celebrating on the mound under a pile of Phillies.
Wait, a closer actually did celebrate on the mound under a pile of Phillies. But it’s been a long time since one of them have had the opportunity.
I hope that’s all about to change.
Brad, can’t wait to see you in the bullpen.