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World Series Game Two: Great Blogs of Fire

NEW YORK - OCTOBER 29:  Ryan Howard #6 of the Philadelphia Phillies walks back to the dugout after striking out for the fourth time in the game as manager Charlie Manuel looks on against the New York Yankees  in Game Two of the 2009 MLB World Series at Yankee Stadium on October 29, 2009 in the Bronx borough of New York City.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images
Flattish PoeCorrespondent IOctober 31, 2009

So, we tasted the agony of defeat.

 

Actually, it’s quite good on toast.

 

You could say I’m making light of the fact that the PA team focused on a World Series repeat came up short.

 

You’re right.

 

And you could say the Game Two loss to the Bombers was like a kick in the balls.

 

But you’re wrong.

 

My husband took it in the groin by an eight inch tree truck. And trust me, Thursday’s loss feels nothing like it. His crotch looks like a cast iron kettle, and he still talks like Peter Pan, but the flip side is, he could have been dead.

 

Let’s face it, the Phillies simply lost—but they didn’t die. But like my husband, people are getting a lot of mileage from the fact that they’re still alive but took a big hit.

 

In honor of them both, I’ll try to keep my innuendos to a minimum.

 

Really.

 

First things first. In yet another postseason game, the umpires blew some calls. That’s to be expected. There were only what—16 of them on the field, including the one with perfect vision? Besides umping can’t be hard...

 

My husband says neither can he.

 

Whoa. Did I just say that?

 

My personal opinion is Pedro Martinez pitched a great game. A.J. Burnett just pitched a bit better. There were so many strikeouts—12 by the Phil’s and 11 by the Yanks—that by the eighth inning Tim McCarver was announcing K’s like he was calling a local bingo game.

 

I think it was also McCarver who called A.J. Burnett, “Beckett”. I can understand how Burnett wouldn’t stick out in anyone’s mind. He’s the guy who once pitched a no-hitter while he walked nine and hit a guy. But last night he didn’t miss a first pitch strike, until Chase Utley took the plate in the third. Then he earned his first postseason win, and was named Player of the Game.

 

When things are that hot, I can understand calling someone by the wrong name.

 

Not that I’ve ever done that.

 

And I’ll admit, I’m a huge fan of the pitch count. I think 100 hurls is all an arm can physically deliver, so I would’ve pulled Pedro Martinez after the sixth. Too much of a good thing will make you blind, you know.

 

Hmm, now we know what those umps have been doing.

 

And I’d like to pass blame on what went horribly wrong, but I believe a 1-3 loss is a close game. The teams were so close in total hits, walks, strikeouts, team RISPs, and runners left on base, that if just one of those stats would have tipped the other way, the Phils would be up in the series instead of tied.

 

What if A-Rod would have ended his O-fer streak in the first? Or Raul Ibanez would have missed that spectacular diving catch in the second? Or Pedro Martinez wouldn’t have quick pitched Derek Jeter to a K in the third?

 

Or what if Jayson Werth wouldn’t have been picked off in the fourth? Or the Carlos Ruiz fly ball would have landed in an empty seat instead of banging off the wall in the fifth? Or Hideki Matsui would have failed to give New York their first lead of the series in the sixth?

 

Or what if Charlie would have gone to the bullpen at the start of the seventh? Or they’d have sent the runners early on Utley’s eighth inning hit to avoid a double play? Or what if Matt Stairs would have hit something besides the Chinese buffet before the game?

 

But aside from suppositions, what’s the actual difference between the Game One 6-1 win and the Game Two 3-1 loss?

 

The Yankee bullpen. Burnett pitched better than expected on Thursday, limiting the damage by his team’s relievers to zero casualties. Pitching A.J. Burnett on a great day followed by Mariano Rivera on any given day, is a one-two punch greater than my husband took in the groin.

 

Okay, maybe just figuratively.

 

So after the loss, I felt like a lot of fans thought 2012 couldn’t come quick enough. But I look at it simply as a speed hump. And I was always a big fan of those. It’s what happens in a parked car on a cold winter’s night. Then you sneak back into the party and hope nobody noticed. Except the next day word gets around before you even get to school.

 

That’s how the Phillies must feel. They were hoping to sneak back into town undetected. But when they picked up their morning paper...Shazam. There they were—Frillies.

 

But they’re not losers. The last time I checked, the Phillies led the national league in runs, home runs, and RBI; they won the pennant for two consecutive years for the first time in franchise history, and were tied in this series one game to one. Let me check again.

 

Yup. Shipshape.

 

So while Charlie Manuel’s Phightins continue to post wins against Joe Girardi’s Bronx, I’ll take it upon myself to keep Phillie spirit intact against the big apple of original sin.

 

And in honor of my husband’s involuntary embracing of restraint, I’ll refrain from further innuendos today.

 

But remember, it’s a tough world out there.

 

Wear your cup.

 

Go Phils!

 

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