At least the Phillies won this morning, on Abreu's grand slam in the first inning, and Utley and Pratt's insurance homers later on. I would take a moment to be worried about Lieberthal's right knee, but then I saw yesterday's game details...
Okay, I am totally supposed to be doing work, but I had to take a second out to look at this.
Take a look at the top play video from last night's Phillies vs. Cubs game.
This is great. You can't make stuff like this up. This even beats the weirdest play I'd seen all year, which was a 2-3-1 double play on Mike Lieberthal's strikeout back when the Phillies were here in Seattle in June.
We go to the bottom of the 9th with the score tied 3-3. Mike Remlinger comes in to pitch. Gameday sez:
Jimmy Rollins doubles (19) on a line drive to right fielder Matt Lawton.
Kenny Lofton grounds out to first baseman Derrek Lee. Jimmy Rollins to 3rd.
Okay, I'm with you so far. One out, super speedster Rollin-Rock on third, super batters Utley, Abreu, and Burrell, the heart of the order, up to bat next. Okay, Remlinger's a lefty. Utley and Abreu are lefties. This shouldn't be so bad, right? Gameday continues:
Mike Remlinger intentionally walks Chase Utley.
Mike Remlinger intentionally walks Bobby Abreu.
Chase Utley to 2nd.
Okay, we're going for a force play and praying that we don't walk the losing run in. I mean, whatever, I suppose a sac fly with the bases loaded is the same as a sac fly with just Jimmy standing on third, eh?
Pitcher Change: Michael Wuertz replaces Mike Remlinger, batting 7th.
Bottom 9TH B:3 S:3 O:2
Pat Burrell strikes out swinging. Passed ball by catcher Michael Barrett. Jimmy Rollins scores.
And this is where it gets good. Go look at the highlight reel. You won't be disappointed.
Pattycakes Strikeout (okay, I like Pat Burrell, but he's 5th in the MLB in strikeouts currently), predictably, with the bases loaded and the pressure on and the sliders coming, strikes out. However... the ball is fairly low and away, and on the tape it looks like a foul tip as Burrell's bat goes past it. I'm sure Barrett actually thought it *was* a foul tip -- but, the ball gets away and the umpire called it a third strike, so a slightly stunned Burrell takes off for first, Abreu takes off for second, Utley takes off for third, and Rollins makes for home, but stops about halfway there. Barrett recovers the ball, and for some reason does NOT just tag home and/or run up the line to get Rollins -- he throws to third -- and in the meantime, Rollins takes off and runs for home, beating the throw back and scores and the game is won, 4-3 Phillies.
I have a few questions here, of course. Firstly, were any of the runners really forced to run per se? I don't really understand the rules on advancing on a strikeout. I've never seen it with bases loaded before, so I don't know what usually happens.
Which leads to secondly, if Barrett had just tagged home, would Rollins have automatically been out, or not?
I like what Beerleaguer had to say about it -- "According the giant stat machine at Stats Inc., he’s perpetually stuck between first and second for the rest of his career. At this hour, technicians are still working to fix the short circuit. His RBI total has reached infinity."
Crazy Phillies. At least you guys always have made it *interesting* to watch you suck.