In cases like this, I'd almost prefer a boring blowout loss. You invest over three hours of hope, and - snap! - it's gone in one swing of the bat.
In contrast to last night's pitcher's duel, the Indians and Phillies traded runs throughout the game. Shin-Soo Choo hit two home runs, driving in four runs, and the Indians led . But the key point in the contest came when the Indians didn't score a run. That turning point came in the top of the sixth inning, when Manny Acta lifted Jake Westbrook for a pinch hitter with a runner on third and one out with the Indians leading 5-4. Regardless of how Hafner's at-bat went, Acta was banking on his bullpen pitching the final four innings. Hafner made the gut call look like a bad one by grounding out weakly to third on the first pitch he saw. Now the shaky bullpen would have to hold back the theoretically awesome Phillies lineup in check.
First out of the bullpen was Tony Sipp, who has awful ever since the last road trip the Indians took. He allowed the first Phillies to each base, then got a double play, and got the third out thanks to a convoluted rundown involving two runners (the play started with a throw to first and ended with Carlos Santana tagging out Ryan Howard out at the plate). Brad Schneider, who was at the plate when the rundowns began, hit his first homer of the year off Frank Herrmann to start the seventh. So after getting away with having Tony Sipp face the middle of the Philadelphia order, one of the better relievers gave up the lead to the worst position player in the lineup.
That's where the score stayed until the ninth, when Anderson Hernandez and Trevor Crowe lead off the inning with singles. Then, after Hernandez was thrown out at home on a fielder's choice, Trevor Crowe scored when he beat the throw home on a Carlos Santana grounder. But like many times in this game, this score led to another. Kerry Wood walked Brian Schneider to open the inning, and that cardinal sin was punished two batters later when Jimmy Rollins got his first hit since coming off the DL, a no-doubt walk-off home run into the right field seats.
|Highest WPA||Lowest WPA|
|Trevor Crowe||.353||Kerry Wood||-.787|
|Carlos Santana||.271||Jake Westbrook||-.157|
|Shin-Soo Choo||.207||Jhonny Peralta||-.157|