I’d like to read you a story.
Prologue: The Phillies trailed the Braves, 2-1, going into the eighth inning last night.
Chapter 1: Top 8. Enter sad sack B.J. Rosenberg, the 28-year-old with the beer gut of a 42-year-old. Here are the results of the three batters he faced:
Home run (Evan Gattis, his second of the night). 3-1.
Home run (Dan Uggla, his career 7,000th against the Phillies). 4-1.
Home run (Andrelton Simmons). 5-1.
That’ll be the evening. Rosenberg’s line for the night: 8 strikes, 9 balls, 0.0 innings pitched, 3 hits, 3 earned runs, 3 solo home runs, 2 turtle doves and a partridge getting fucked in a pear tree by one the most dubious baseball distinctions ever. From Todd Zolecki:
Retrosheet found 44 pitchers since 1950 who allowed home runs to the only two batters they faced in a game, but no pitcher since 1914 had allowed home runs to the only three batters he faced until Rosenberg.
I need Jayson Stark to look up if any pitcher has ever had 3 of 17 pitches hit out of the park at any point in their career. That’s 17%. 17% of the pitches B.J. Rosenberg threw last night were deposited in the stands. I have trouble attaining that rate in R.B.I. Baseball.
Chapter 2: Bottom 8. Phils trail 5-1. The top three batters in Phillies’ lineup – Tony Gwynn Jr., Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley – get on. Ryan Howard strikes out, looking, on four fastballs. Marlon Byrd singles, two runs score. 5-3. Dom Brown blasts a three-run home run. 6-5, Phillies! Heroics! 2008 stuff! YEAH, BABY!
Chapter 3: Top 9. Diekman.
Since Jonathan Papelbon pitched three nights in a row, it was Jake Diekman who was charged with closing out the tense one-run game against a division rival. Haha. Here’s how that worked out:
Boneheaded fielder’s choice by Utley that leaves runners on first and second with no outs.
Grand slam (Dan Uggla, his career 7,001st home run against the Phillies). 9-6. Phillies fan react in hyper-slow-motion.
Diekman’s line for the night: 16 strikes, 12 balls, 1 inning pitched, 2 hits, 4 earned runs, 3 strikeouts, 2 walks and a partridge in the left field seats.
Epilogue: The Phillies’ social media people thought it would be a great(!) idea to send out this tone-deaf Tweet mere moments after B.J. Rosenberg and Jake Diekman ruined a nearly four-hour ballgame:
As for Ruben Amaro? He was smart enough to get out of town so he wouldn’t have to witness his bullpen monster eating all the villagers:
Dear God, make Ruben a bird so he can fly far, far, far away from here.