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Phil-osophy 101
2004-08-31 01:13
by Mike Carminati

A day after rumors circulated that manager Larry Bowa will be fired at season's end, the Phils gave a good illustration why Bowa deserves the fate, possibly as much as GM Ed Wade does.

The Phils lost 9-8 today to the White Sox at home in a make-up interleague game. Again did Larry Bowa go to Roberto Horrendous with a slim, 6-5, lead in the sixth, which he quickly relinquished. How can he possibly have just five losses? I guess he mostly helps other, previous pitchers accumulate losses.

The fifth was a catastrophe. With the Phils leading 6-3, men at first and third and no outs, Timo Perez hit a ball back to the pitcher. The runner at third broke for home to avoid the double play. As catcher Lieberthal was running the runner back to third, third baseman David Bell inexplicably came up the line toward home, allowing the runners to move up. They finally got the runner out, but not until they had allowed the runners to get to second and third instead of a possible double play.

After Myers walked the bases full by passing Gload for the second time, the Phils made a play that was their season in microcosm. Myers left a ball on the plate for a 1-2 pitch, which Carl Everett hit for a single to right, scoring one run. A strong throw by Abreu was cut off and they got Everett slipping rounding third, but Placido Polanco in missing the tag saw the runner at third breaking for home. He threw to Lieberthal, who again ran the runner back to third as Bell again left the bag. Lieberthal threw a bit high to avoid the runner and Bell, after receiving the throw, allowed the runner Perez to knock the ball out of his glove. Perez scored and Bell was charged with an error. Meanwhile Bell made at least two mistakes on the play and Myers' pitch was a mistake. Abreu made a nice throw and Polanco snuck in behind Everett to create the rundown. Somehow they got no outs and allowed two runs.

Abreu also made a nice throw, his third of the inning, on the hitter, Jose Valentin's, single to right, getting the runner Gload at home. I donít ever want to hear that airhead Howard Eskin ever dis Abreu's defense or any other facet of his game again. Abreu has been the best player on the team all year on this dead from the neck up team.

The Phils started the next half inning with a single by Lieberthal but he was doubled up by Marlon Byrd. Then came the fateful call for Horrendous. With a man on first, David Bell made a great play to get Crede, possibly saving a run. Then a grounder that got through to left allowed the runner to score from second as Michaels lollipopped the threw to home, allowing the runner to advance to second. A wild pitch got the runner to third. Perez then put down a bunt and Horrendous and Bell collided as the runner scored the go-ahead run. Then Horrendous was pulled for Cormier.

Cormier held the Sox scoreless for an inning and a third. But then Bowa went to the Todd Jones, who served as Horrendous' stand-in after being acquired at the trade deadline. Jones gave up a single, a sac bunt, and then a home run to out the Sox up 9-6 in the eighth. The Phils scored two on a two-out Jim Thome homer in the ninth, but somehow their last at-bat was entrusted to Doug Glanville, who promptly struck out.

This is a bad team, a very bad team. I can't wait to wish this team, or at least certain members of it, to the cornfield.

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