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 the 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.