Meltdowns Can Be Fun!
When they occur to somebody else, that is.
Last night, I didn’t get a chance to sit down and watch the Phillies face the Cardinals until seven innings had been played. I knew the Phils had been trailing 1-0 earlier in the evening, and after seven they were still down, 2-1. But it turns out I was just in time for all the fun.
Fun for the Phillies. Not so fun for the Cards.
Call it what you want – meltdown, implosion, epic fail – the Cardinals’ bullpen had one of the ugliest half-innings I have ever witnessed.
It lasted almost 45 minutes.
There were two hit batsmen (one with the bases loaded); four walks (two with the bases loaded); and four RBI singles. Nine runs scored – eight of them after there were two outs.
They needed five pitchers to get through it.
Two of those pitchers did not record any outs.
Trever Miller started the inning in relief of Kyle McClellan, who had held the Phils to one run thus far. After retiring the first batter, he allowed a single and a walk to put two men on base.
Curiously, Jason Motte, a hard-throwing righty, was brought in to replace lefty Miller and face Ryan Howard. Motte proceeded to hit Howard to load the bases, then hit Placido Polanco to force in the tying run.
Brian Tallet entered next, and got Raul Ibanez to strike out. After giving up an RBI single to Ben Francisco, he was replaced by Miguel Batista. Batista apparently needed a map to find the strike zone – he promptly walked two batters to force in two more runs, and followed that by allowing an RBI single to Jimmy Rollins.
Maikel Cleto was next in the parade of pitchers. He walked Shane Victorino to reload the bases, gave up two RBI singles to Chase Utley and Ryan Howard, and then mercifully for the Cards, retired Wilson Valdez to finally end their inning from hell with the Phils now leading 10-2.
Lost in all this were two fine performances by the starting pitchers, Roy Halladay and Kyle McClellan, who each surrendered one run, only to be rewarded with no-decisions for their efforts.
Thank you, Cardinals bullpen, for handing us that win on a silver platter. I hope you’ll understand if the Phillies do not reciprocate tonight.