The Phillies lost to the Marlins tonight. And if you’re one for narrative in sports, or if you’re a hard determinist, the top of the seventh inning was a real doozy.
Sure, there were some extraneous bits of news in the other eight and a half innings. Phillies fan favorite Logan Morrison had two hits, including a fifth-inning solo homer. Pete Orr had a pretty good game in place of Wilson Valdez, reaching base twice and recording two brilliant defensive plays, one on the pivot of a fifth-inning double play and the other to corral a broken-bat blooper and throw out Mike Stanton at first in the eighth.
Also, Roy Oswalt again threw between 88 and 90 pitches, went six innings, and gave up two runs. However, Oswalt injured his back, it is believed, trying to bunt Orr to second in the bottom of the sixth and could not start the seventh.
It is the top of that seventh inning that is of interest tonight. With the Phillies up one, their starter, who was cruising, left with an injury. J.C. Romero came in to face Morrison, a lefty with power. Morrison hit what would have been an easy chopper to second if Romero hadn’t deflected the ball, which was headed straight for a charging Pete Orr, into no-man’s land. Instead, the Marlins had the tying run on and no one out, and instead of bringing in one of his top relievers, Charlie Manuel opted for Danys Baez, who, predictably, loaded the bases.
Then, of all people to stride out of the dugout, was Greg Dobbs.
Yes, the selfsame Greg Dobbs who led the NL in pinch hits in 2008, then put up a .221/.273/.356 his last two years in Philly, much to the annoyance of Phillies fans. Dobbs, in a moment of almost literary irony and almost Calvinist predictability, hit a two-run single to left to plate Morrison and Gaby Sanchez. It was only then, after the damage had been done, that Uncle Cholly reached into his bag of bullpen arms and pulled out a reliable relief pitcher. And when he did, Antonio Bastardo predictably only needed five pitches to record two outs with two men on.
Here’s hoping Cole Hamels and the Phillies predictably beat the living daylights out of the Marlins tomorrow.