The Phillies had an opportunity to keep their heads above the .500 mark for the season but a late game rally by the Dodgers at the hands of the 50 million dollar reliever Jonathon Papelbon dashed those hopes. Vance Worley made his return from the DL and was shaky in the early going, walking two and surrendering two hits in the first which lead to two runs, one of them driven in by former Phillie Bobby Abreau, who drove Andre Ethier in with a single. Things weren’t much better to start the second as Worley gave up a double to Adam Kennedy which was followed up by a sacrifice from Clayton Kershaw and an infield single from Dee Gordon who would prove to be the villain of the night for the Phil’s. This stretched the Dodger lead to three which, given the nature of the Phillies offense at times this season can be all a team needs especially with a pitcher of Kershaw’s caliber on the mound.
The Phillies offense came alive in the bottom of the third though when John Mayberry Jr. doubled to deep left and Freddy Galvis drove him home with a single. Worley moved Galvis over to second and Jimmy Rollins popped out, but Placido Palanco came through with the clutch hit of the night for the Phillies with a game tying two run homer to left field.
The score would stay knotted up at 3 until the ninth when Charlie Manuel brought in Jonathon Papelbon who is 15-15 in save situations this year but hasn’t fared nearly as well in non save situations. In keeping with this trend Papelbon gave up a triple to Dee Gordon, one pitch after Papelbon thought he struck out Gordon on a pitch on the inside corner. Umpire, D.J. Reyburn called it a ball and Gordon ripped his triple on the next pitch. Elian Herrera drove home Gordon with a go ahead single on the next at bat and the Phillies failed to muster any sort of offense in their last licks in the ninth.
Papelbon later ripped the Ump claiming he had a direct outcome on the game with his blown call. To be frank this is a weak cop out from Papelbon who has not pitched as well as his 15 saves would indicate. Only three of his saves have protected one run leads, and situations like these are equally as important, preserving a tie and giving your offense a chance to win or at least extend the game to extra innings is as much the task of the closer at is to preserve a lead, which is why the accepted baseball doctrine states you bring your closer in during a tie game in the 9th. Blaming the Ump is a cop out when that specific call didn’t determine the outcome of the game; Papelbon had the ball with another chance to get Gordon out. The game didn’t end with that call; if Papelbon does his job the call is irrelevant. That also didn’t force Papelbon to give up the single to Herrera which ended up being the winning run. Shaky pitching in the early innings and a failure to close and come up with clutch hits did the Phillies in on Monday night, not a Triple A umpire who was calling his first big league game.
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Written by Tom Bopp