Perhaps some day when Charlie Manuel is no longer the manager of the Phillies – say he gets fired or his contract is allowed to expire or something like that – the bottom of the ninth of last night’s inexplicable victory over the Florida Marlins will be shown over and over on a virtual loop.
Yes, it was that odd.
Where do we start? With Brett Myers starting another ninth inning with a four-run lead? With Greg Dobbs’ throw to the plate on a bunt? On Rod Barajas’ “For who, for what?” moment where Hanley Ramirez scored by going five-hole on him? On Myers’ injury? The comebacker that Clay Condrey snagged? Or how about how Condrey bounced back from his previous outing… that was something, huh?
Anyway, everyone seems to be talking about the Phillies’ crazy ninth inning from last night, so there is no sense in rehashing it here. However, I had been asked quite frequently today if I had ever seen the Phillies cough up a lead in such a manner.
Yes. Yes I have.
It was Sept. 3, 2001 at the Vet. A warm, Labor Day afternoon. The Phillies, in the thick of a race for the NL East with the Braves lost to the New York Mets, 10-7, by allowing five runs in the top of the ninth. Jose Mesa was credited with a blown save and the loss though his role in the loss was merely cosmetic. He simply blew it.
The real goat on that Labor Day was the reliever who followed Mesa, Jose Santiago. Santiago, as some remember, pitched in 95 games for the Phillies during the 2001 and 2002 seasons, compiling a 4.94 ERA, including a poor 6.70 ERA in 42 games during 2002.
But to me Jose Santiago will always be the pitcher who allowed the go-ahead run to score when missed the throw back from the catcher.
Let that sink in for a second…
Yes, he missed the throw from the catcher.
It wasn’t a wild throw or a hard one. He didn’t have to lunge for it or stretch with a little leap for it. He missed it. The catcher threw the ball to him and Santiago missed it.
He simply missed it.
As the ball trickled away from Santiago, Todd Zeile – not particularly the most fleet afoot – took off from second to third base and then scored when shortstop Jimmy Rollins’ wild throw skipped past Scott Rolen at third base. Jay Payton ended up going from first to third before scoring an insurance run.
The only thing missing was the circus music.
So when people ask about the ninth inning in Miami from May 23, 2007, tell them about the ninth inning at the Vet on Sept. 3, 2001 where the pitcher allowed the winning run to score when he missed the throw back from the catcher.
Just missed it.
Otherwise, waiting for the final prognosis on Myers’ strained shoulder must have a few folks at 1 Citizens Park Way feeling more than a little tense. Frankly, if Myers has a major injury, that could be all she wrote for 2007, folks.
From here the Phillies head to Atlanta for a weekend series against the Braves. Fortunately for the Phillies Ryan Howard will return to the lineup on Friday night. Even better for the scribes on the beat, The Vortex is in Atlanta, which, as they claim, is the place to go for burgers. From looking at the menu, it appears as if the joint is veggie friendly, too.
Not that anyone is interested in any of that silliness.
Today is Bob Dylan's 66th birthday. Could Bob be the most notable person ever to attend the University of Minnesota? I say, "Yes. Yes he is."
Happy birthday, Bob.
Special thanks to the good folks at The Mike Gill Show on 1450 AM in Atlantic City.