I receive an early edition of the Inquirer each day, delivered through the mail slot of our front door. Often, this early edition does not include the results of games with late endings. How fortunate for me, this Saturday morning, to not have to read the gory details of last night's brutal loss in Washington. After all, in a rare event, I actually watched it happen in real time.
Ryan Madson turned a 4-2 win into an 8-4 loss Friday night by completely melting down in Washington. Having already yielded two runs to open the bottom of the ninth to knot the score at 4-4, Madson seemed on the verge of wiggling out of further damage when with the bases loaded, two outs and a 3-2 count on Ryan Zimmerman, the Phils' closer grooved one right down Pennsylvania Avenue and the Nats' third baseman deposited it in the left field grandstands for a walk-off grand slam home run. A ground level shot, moments later, showed a bemused Jimmy Rollins walking off the diamond.
With the pitch, the Phils lost their second game this week when holding a lead going into the ninth inning. The first loss, at home, was courtesy of their ace, Roy Halladay. Last night's defeat, on the road, was courtesy of their so-called closer.
Lately, nearly everyone seems fond of pointing out the Phils only have to play .500 ball the rest of the way to win 100 games. Well, this is their second loss to Washington in three games; they took two of three from Arizona. Even with my limited math skills that looks like .500. Frankly, it isn't impressive. Worse, the two losses were ugly. The Halladay loss was ugly because it was unnecessary. He should have been removed for a relief pitcher. Of course, Friday's loss was delivered by the guy who might have been that relief pitcher. That sounds like .500 to me...again!