Cliff Lee was masterful last night in San Diego. Chase Utley hit a home run, Dom Brown flashed some leather in left field and the San Diego Padres looked to be no problem for the Phillies on the start of a ten game west coast swing. With the Phillies up 3-0 entering the bottom of the ninth and it already half past midnight I was growing so tired that I just could not manage to fight it any longer. I turned the TV off, rolled over and went to bed, which goes against everything I believe in when it comes to baseball. I always preach the concept of 27 outs on a regular basis, and here I was turning a game off in the middle of the ninth inning.
Let's be honest. I did not want to stay up to watch that unfold.
Jonathan Papelbon blew his fourth save in eight days and the Phillies lost in ten innings, 4-3.
As I went to bed I had already seen Charlie Manuel talking to Lee in the dugout with the Phillies at bat. Already at 109 pitches I had a fear he was trusting Lee too much. Papelbon was warming up in the bullpen and ready to go. Even given the week he was coming off of, I would have turned the game over to the closer to start the inning. Instead, Lee quickly got in to a jam just three pitches in with two base runners. Papelbon then came in to the game and struggled. A two-run single charged two runs to Lee and Papelbon saw the tying run cross the plate when Carlos Ruiz let one get by him for a passed ball. Justin De Fratus entered the game in the 10th inning for the Phillies and struggled as well, walking two and hitting another before a walk-off base hit by Kyle Blanks ended a wild night in San Diego in favor of the home team.
But hey, that's baseball. It's just unpleasant baseball. I would call it unbelievable, but this season has demonstrated every loss should be totally believable.
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