The Phillies get a taste of pressure and choke in a playoff atmosphere, blowing a 4-2 lead in a gut-wrenching 6-4 loss to the N.Y. Clowns.
There’s plenty of blame to go around, as I’m spinning from a loss that feels a hundred times worse than their last loss to the Mets back in June.
The supposed strength, the A-list pen, couldn’t finish the job, including a meltdown from Ugueth Urbina, brought to town specifically to preserve games like this one. Urbina allowed a game-winning three-run shot by Ramon Castro to put the game away.
Urbina was traded for the third-best hitter in baseball, Placido Polanco (.332 combined AL/NL average) to bring his mysterious “guile” to town. Tonight erases two months of solid pitching in my eyes. That kind of scrutiny is the difference between today and two days ago.
The team sat back on a 4-2 lead and used their worst hitter, Endy Chavez, to pinch hit in the eighth. Meanwhile, newly-acquired Michael Tucker waited in the dugout, as did Jason Michaels and Tomas Perez.
This isn’t a time to monkey around with that kind of nonsense. We’re watching you. The baseball world is focused on you. And nobody, including the Mets, is taking your garbage seriously.
When the going gets tough, leave it to the Phils to crawl under the covers and hide like babies. They showed why most sports fans in Philadelphia are more concerned whether the Eagles will sign a wide receiver off the scrap heap to carry Terrell Owens' jock than with the outcome of this game, this series, this season.
I expect a roller-coaster from here until October, but this was different. This was a killer reality check. They have no choice but to win the next two, starting with Pedro Martinez tomorrow night. Good luck.