Phillies Battle the Brewers and the Umps

Rupert PupkinCorrespondent IOctober 5, 2008

MILWAUKEE—The Phillies stepped onto a plane to Milwaukee Thursday night hoping to complete the sweep of the Brew Crew on Saturday and head back to Philadelphia.  Things did not go according to plan. 

Jamie Moyer, the Phils' 45-year-old pitcher, has arguably been the most consistent on staff this season.  When he took the hill Saturday night in Milwaukee, Phillies fans had all the confidence in the world. 

Home plate umpire Brian Runge certainly did not help Moyer's cause. 

A veteran of 20 years deserves an umpire who can define his zone and maintain that zone throughout the game.  Runge missed call, after call, after call.  His head was constantly pivoting from dugout to dugout, as players and coaches furiosly screamed.

Another missed call was the interference call on Shane Victorino in the ninth, which took a Phillies run off the board.  Victorino had the right to the bag in that situation.

The treacherous umpiring aside, the Phils' offense and relievers didn't get the job done.

"We've got to hit," said Philadelphia manager Charlie Manuel

Aside from the Victorino grand slam earlier in the series, which was a result of some walks, and a Chase Utley RBI double, to which the Brewers' Mike Cameron took a poor route, the offense has done nothing.

With the loss last night, all of the pressure shifts back to the Phillies.  They must wrap this thing up tonight.  If the series were to come back to Philadelphia for a Hamels-Sabathia Game Five, it could be the last shot in the Phillies' hearts.