Hang with 'em.
I kept saying that.
I said it in the 1st, when David Wright came up as the tying run and got under a Robinson Tejeda pitch. Hang with 'em, David.
I said it in the 5th, when Cliff Floyd came up as the tying run and hammered a first-pitch Tejeda fastball to center. Just under it. Right instinct, didn't work out. Hang with 'em, Clifford.
I said it again in the 7th, when Marlon Anderson came up as the tying run and absolutely smashed a Ryan Madson pitch — one of those high-trajectory jobs that looks like a nine-foot guy hit it when it leaves the bat. Did you? Did you? No, you didn't. Into Abreu's glove at the fence. Rats. Hang with 'em, Marlon.
“Hang with 'em” is one of my favorite baseball phrases, a vow that you are patient, that you understand a split-second or a fraction of an inch can mean the difference between sucess and failure, that you applaud the correct approach even if it doesn't pay off, that you are willing to wait for redemption. (It's also, of course, just one of those things you say.) The problem is games where you say it a lot generally wind up as frustrating losses. “Hang with 'em” is great, but you only get so many chances.
That goes double or even triple when Billy Wagner's out there in the bullpen. Thanks to Ramon Castro, our pudgy-cheeked Juggernaut of Clutch, we never saw him in action. And hey, Looper was just fine. I was sweating that the home-plate ump would put Chase Utley on with a bruised sleeve, forcing Looper to pitch to Abreu, who so totally owns Looper that his name is probably tattooed on Braden's ass, and I suppose in some other parallel universe that happened. Whatever — I'm glad I don't live in that one. (And in some other parallel universe we have a lefty in the pen to pitch to these Phillie lefty bats, but no harm no foul. At least for tonight.)
* Carlos Beltran on base all four times, getting there with a full complement of dinger, solid single, infield hit and walk, swinging the bat without any apparent pressure from those big heavy dollar signs that seem to have weighed him down this year. And making a fantastic throw to the J. of C. Only one night, but an awfully nice sight.
* Victor Diaz is a rollercoaster ride all by his lonesome. A typically bad reaction on a fly ball, a loafing trip around the bases he almost paid for — but he wound up loafing around for a triple, added another hit and had an absolutely terrific, wise at-bat against Ugie Urbina for a crucial walk. Go figure.
* Why is Chris Woodward a defensive replacement for Mike Jacobs? I know Jacobs is a converted catcher, but he sure looks like he's got nice hands over there — witness that nice play he made on a hot shot. Woody, for all his usefulness, is a utility guy. And he's short.
* Mike Jacobs has officially returned to Earth. Oh well, it was a nice trip.
* Welcome back, Mike Cameron. You do realize that now you have to bring out the lineup card every night, right?