Former Phillie Ramon Martinez homered off former Phillie Ryan Franklin in the 16th inning to lead the Los Angeles Dodgers over the Cincinnati Reds 6-5 last night.
One reader has taken to calling the Franklin swap the best deal Pat Gillick made at the trade deadline. It’s hard to argue with the logic, as far as the 2006 season is concerned. Indeed, the Phillies need opponent losses just as much as they need wins, and Franklin can certainly serve them up in a hurry.
It took one pitch for Franklin to blow it last night. He has surrendered three runs in his last three relief appearances. In addition, Rheal Cormier has fallen back to earth in a big way since the Phils shipped him to Cincinnati. In 10 1-3 August innings, Frenchy has allowed 3 homers, 16 hits and five earned runs for a 4.65 ERA. That ERA should be worse. Opponents are hitting .356 of him in a Reds uniform.
With the loss, coupled by the Phillies 10-6 win at Washington, the Reds are now tied with the Phillies in the Wild Card race, just 0.5 games behind San Diego. Their WC stronghold, which they held for most of the summer, has now been compromised. "Sabotaged" might be the better word.
Back so soon
The top story in baseball is a Marlins team on the brink of a Wild Card birth. They’ve won 9-straight games and find themselves 1 1/2 games back of San Diego with a record of 65-66.
If the season ended today, first-year manager Joe Girardi should win manager of the year. Even if they lose their next 31 games, 65 wins is more than most experts thought this $15 million team would achieve, considering they started the season 11-31.
I remember telling people what a sad shame it was to see a team dismantled the way the Marlins were this offseason. Now, I’m praying the Phillies can fend them off. Their young lineup is hot from top-to-bottom, and Miguel Cabrera is a candidate for MVP. Cabrera, the seasoned veteran, is all of 23-years-old. The highest ERA among their starting five is 4.45. Dontrelle Willis, the seasoned veteran, is all of 24-years-old. That’s two years older than Josh Johnson, who’s nothing short of a Cy Young candidate at this point: (12-6, 2.87 ERA).
Watch out, Phillies. Remember the name, Mets. The Marlins are back to being, well, the no-good, stinkin' Marlins.