Friday, July 09, 2010

A Win Despite Themselves

Brian Schneider isn't known for his offense but he was the hero last night as the Phils overcame another poor outing by Brad Lidge and the continuing bonehead base-running of Shane Victorino and Jayson Werth to beat Cincinnati 4-3 in twelve innings.

Schneider stroked a walk-off home for the winner and then produced one of the most restrained arrivals at home plate ever seen in these parts. His forgathered teammates pounded him anyway but someone should quietly take him aside and instruct him on the art of the helmet toss or emphatic leap. Jeez, Brian, get with the program!

Victorino made two baserunning mistakes including taking an ill-advised turn that miraculously resulted in a series of drops, misses and late throws resulting in Jimmy Rollins scoring from first for a one run lead. Victorino was then picked off first base. Werth, one of the least bright bulbs in the Phillies firmament, was tagged off first base after stepping on it and then moving off it long enough for Joey Votto to apply the tag and end the inning. Werth rarely seems to have his head in the game for all nine innings.

Ryan Madson returned from the disabled list and struck out the side but still screwed up by failing to cover home plate, resulting in the tying run scoring for Cincinnati in the eighth inning. The Phils retook the lead in the bottom of the frame setting the stage for Brad Lidge to close out the game. Lidge usual.

Lidge's saga is a sad one at this point. He has allegedly come back from an assortment of injuries so many times I've lost count. Unlike a few of his teammates, he might have his head in the game but his arm has gone south and only occasionally has been sighted for nearly 1.5 seasons. It is now commonplace for Lidge to enter the ninth inning of a game and surrender the lead, sometimes permanently. Last night was no exception. Brian Schneider saved the day but Charlie Manuel has to be trying to think of an alternative to giving Lidge the ball going forward.

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