Sunday, September 18, 2005

Wacky 9th

The Phillies were down 2-0 heading into the ninth inning. The Marlins Dontrelle Willis looked unbeatable. He has reached the status of one of the game's premier pitchers thanks to his performances this season. Willis was three out away from yet another league leading shutout. I just wanted to see the cruel end to a game that would have left the Marlins ahead of the Nats. (The Phillies are also ahead of the Nats, but we've had their number. Wins against the Marlins have been tougher to come by). Mom called. She was pissed. We had to go to the grocery store.

"Just a sec ma, it's the ninth." Ma stormed out of the room fuming. I actually saw fire spew from her nostrils.

One man reached against Willis. No big deal. Then a walk. Willis needed to buckle down. It wasn't yet time for Todd Jones, the Marlins' sure-fire closer, as the left-handed slugger Bobby Abreau quietly strolled to the plate. Willis induced the groundball that he needed headed straight for the golden glove of Luis Castillo. As Castillo turned to watch the ball that he should have caught scat into right field, Willis' shutout vanished. Insert Todd Jones.

At this point the Marlins were still leading 2-1, but in a bit of trouble. Five MORE defensive miscues later, the fish were fried. The Phillies batted around before the Marlins even recorded an out. Two pop-ups in between the speedy Juan Pierre in centerfield and Castillo dropped, both letting in runs. Jeff Conine, playing first base, watched as the ball rolled through his legs. Todd Jones fielded a bunt and then through the ball away from any of his teammates as if it were an active grenade. The Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins had a hit streak on the verge of ending heading into the 9th. He garnered 2 hits, scored 2 runs, and batted in 2 more in the 9th inning alone. Juan Pierre finally got his much deserved error in the inning when a throw of his to home went ary.

The Phillies scored 10 runs, sent 14 batters to the plate, batted around before an out was made, saw 6 defensive mistakes, benefited from 4 errors, and won the game all in the ninth. Wow.

"Alright ma, NOW we can go."

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