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2007-09-06 11:25
by Mike Carminati

The Phils were cruising to an 8-2 win which would put them four games behind the shut-out Mets for first in the East and just two out in the wild card. Then their ever-porous bullpen allowed seven runs in an inning and two thirds on eight hits and three walks. "Flash Flood" Gordon and Brett "Joe Table" Myers were the culprits and they threw 60 pitches and faced 16 batters in those 1.2 innings.

Myers, who has gotten bombed in two of his last five appearances, owns a 4.24 ERA, 8 saves, and a 2-4 record in his 16 appearances since returning from the DL on July 28. Maybe it's time to throw in the towel on his closer experiment. Really, they got about three good weeks of work out him before he went on the DL. Myers owns a 3.55 ERA in the bullpen, but his 5.09 overall ERA which means he would rank 30th on the all-time list for highest ERA for a pitcher with at least 14 saves (see below).

I am also left wondering how the Phils cannot find somewhere in the organization a better outfielder to fill in as a defensive replacement than the phundamentally flowed Chris Roberson, whose throw helped the Braves win. The roster expanded five days ago and still the Phils are carrying just five outfielders, one of which (Shane Victorino) appears to still be physically unable to play and another (Pat Burrell) is a defensive liability. Can it be possible that there is no young rangy center fielder who can spell Burrell for an inning or two anywhere in the organization? Lonnie "Skates" Smith was used in this role for about five seasons—I'm exaggerating—before he became an established major-leaguer. Then again, their GM is semi-retired—he can't be expected to deal with such trivialities.

The Metro (a.k.a., Philly's s_ _t rag) ranked the loss as their third worst of the season. Number one was the August 19 loss to Pittsburgh after a 4-1 lead with two outs in the seventh. Number two was the July 3, thirteen-inning loss to the 'Stros aided by a Lance Barksdale miscall on a should-have-been game-ending double play. This one is the worst in my book.

It is just the third time in franchise history that the Phils lost a game after securing a six-run lead with just six opponent outs remaining. On May 7, 1925, the Phils led the Giants 8-2 after innings and then New York scored nine runs in the top of the ninth en route to a 11-8 win. On September 6, 1933, exactly 74 years ago, the Phils had a 7-1 lead in the second game of a double header with the Cardinals at Sportsman's Park after seven and one half innings. Then the Cards scored seven runs in the next two innings for a double header sweep and an 8-7 win.

There are only 27 nine-inning games in recorded major-history in which a team has overcome a bigger deficit with just six outs remaining. The last time this occurred was June 30 of last season when the Reds beat the Indians, 9-8, after trailing by 7 runs in the middle of the eight. The biggest comeback was by the Philly A's, who trailed the Indians by eleven runs but scored 13 in the bottom of the eighth en route to a 17-15 win. It was Tom Glass's sole major-league win.

Here are all the comebacks after deficits of at least seven runs with two turns at bat remaining:

DateVisiting teamHome teamVT runsHT runsLead OvercomeInning

So was this the worst loss in the team's history? No, the Joe Carter and Todd Stottlemyre games in the '93 World Series were worse, and there's always the loss following a Burt Hooten meltdown on the mound in the 1977 NLCS. Is this their worst regular-season loss? I didn't live through the 1964 fiasco, so it's hard for me to say, but instead of putting themselves one series out of first and firmly in the wild card hunt while virtually knocking the then-floundering rival Braves out of both, the Phils hang onto the fringes of both races in a slightly better position than Atlanta. I would say that's pretty damn bad.


Highest ERA for a pitcher with at least 14 saves:

PitcherYrSv ERA
Norm Charlton199714 7.27
Shawn Chacon200435 7.11
Derrick Turnbow200624 6.87
Jose Mesa200324 6.52
Rob Dibble199319 6.48
Brandon Lyon200514 6.44
Mike Williams200328 6.14
Dave Smith199117 6.00
LaTroy Hawkins200128 5.96
Keith Foulke200515 5.91
Jay Howell198716 5.89
Jeff Brantley200023 5.86
Jose Valverde200618 5.84
Darold Knowles197515 5.81
Mike Henneman199631 5.79
Hideki Irabu200216 5.74
Willie Hernandez198915 5.74
Doug Henry199317 5.56
Ambiorix Burgos200618 5.52
Octavio Dotel200016 5.40
Yhency Brazoban200521 5.33
Brad Lidge200632 5.28
Todd Worrell199735 5.28
Bob James198614 5.25
Matt Herges200423 5.23
Jose Jimenez200320 5.22
Tug McGraw197916 5.16
Heathcliff Slocumb199727 5.16
Dave Veres199931 5.14
2007-09-06 19:31:36
1.   Disabled List
Myers owns a 3.55 ERA in the bullpen, but his 5.09 overall ERA which means he would rank 30th on the all-time list for highest ERA for a pitcher with at least 14 saves

31st. Allow me to introduce you to Joe Borowski, esteemed member of my fantasy squad and owner of 40 saves, paired with a lovely 5.50 ERA.

2007-09-07 09:11:17
2.   Mike Carminati
Yeah, I was just looking at pitchers through 2006. Borowski, almost a Phil as well, will also make the list.

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