Readers decompress following five hours of brutal baseball.
Stop swinging at slop: “As for Howard, I have no sympathy at all. Don't blame the umpire. Stop checking your swing on every pitch in the dirt for starters. They are not borderline strikes. You turn them into borderline strikes. Secondly, even if you did get screwed, you did realize that there were no position players left, didn't you? You should be just thankful Oswalt didn't pull a hamstring or hurt his shoulder out there in LF, and you should be embarrassed.” – George S. (via e-mail)
Garbage officiating: “There is absolutely zero excuse for what the ump did in that situation. Howard was upset with the first call and made the umpire openly mocked him on the field. The ump absolutely showed up a player- the one thing umps say they never tolerate is being shown up the players and right there the ump absolutely did that to Howard. And there is no excuse for Howard to be tossed there. He was pissed but never moved towards the ump. He said his peace and the ump tossed him from 100 feet away. It's garbage. The umpiring was not the only reason the Phillies lost but they are partially culpable in this.” - The Truth InjectionUmpiring affected outcome: “The thing that is disappointing about the officiating is the substantial effect it had in the sense that it cost an error, as well as forcing our last batter to be a pitcher. This ump by the way was a AAA fill-in. Personally, I have faith the offense will come around, but if/when MLB suspends Howard the MLBPA needs to petition to have that ump suspended as well. It takes two to tango.” – The Greene Brothers
Fixing the offense: “The Phillies are in a tough pennant race. Two runs in 16 innings just doesn't cut it against an out-of-contention team. The offense is once again generating NOTHING. Every time you look up, there are two outs and nobody on, then a meaningless single or walk. No power from the 3-4-5 hitters at all. None. CM needs to do something to generate some scoring instead of sitting back and waiting for all these great hitters to somehow get it together. They haven't done so and it is nearing September. My lineup vs RHP? Werth, Polanco, Ibanez, Howard, Rollins, Utley, Brown and Ruiz. Vs LHP? Rollins, Polanco, Utley, Howard, Werth, Victorino, Francisco and Ruiz.” – George S. (via e-mail)
(Screen grab via thefightins.com)