Thursday, September 25, 2008

Phils bomb on dud of night at Citizens Bank Park

You got a premonition of how the night was going to go for the Phils around 4:30, three hours before game time.

The stadium went into lockdown when three “suspicious” packages were found outside Citizens Bank Park.

It turned out to be a dud. So did the Phils.

The devices turned out to be hot dogs, wrapped up so they could be fired from the Phillie Phanatic’s special wiener launcher.

The rest of the night was nothing to relish either. Brett Myers just did not cut the mustard.

There was no need to adjust your television. That was not a re-run of Brett Myers’ last outing when he was shelled by the Marlins. It just looked that way.

Myers was miserable again. The first battter he faced hit a laser to the gap in right-center. He surrendered hits to the first three Braves, immediately digging the Phils a 2-0 hole.

Every time the Phils would scratch their way back, via homers from Chase Utley and Ryan Howard, Myers would walk out to the mound and promptly give it right back.

Myers lasted just four and a third innings, surrendering six runs on 10 hits.

It didn’t get much better after he left, with the Braves coasting to a 10-4 win. Along the way, there was the almost-to-be-expected Ryan Howard defensive lapse, with the first baseman fielding a ground ball and promptly hitting the runner square in the back on hit throw to second. Jayson Werth also misplayed a ball in right that led to another Braves rally.

Consider this: The Phils lost two of three to the Braves, and they had their top two pitchers on the mound, Myers and Cole Hamels.

The good news in all this is that the Mets continue their “Groundhog Day” re-living of last year. They blew still another game to the Cubs last night, coughing up a 5-0 lead and eventually losing in the 10th. They’re now tied with the Milwaukee Brewers in the Wild Card race.

That means that the Phils continue to lead the NL East by a game and a half, and they actually reduced their “Magic Number” to clinch a playoff spot to three. It’s now three for both the NL East and Wild Card.

But the Phils certainly would like to reverse the way they played the last two nights. The idea is to go into the playoffs on a roll.

And not a hot dog roll. The way the Phils pitched and played last night left most with visions of another kind of dog.

Now it comes down to three games with the Nationals. And that does not include possible weather problems that appear to loom over Friday night’s game.

It could make for a Dog Day Afternoon on Sunday, with another one of those day-night double-headers.

As usual, this team will manage to keep everyone’s “buns” on the edge of their seats.

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