Thursday, August 21, 2003

Cover Your Eyes

The Phillies just got swept by the Brewers. This is not a misprint.

The 5-2 loss at Miller Park was as gruesome as it was disheartening. Mental mistakes and a continuation of the team's season-long inability to hit consistently in the clutch doomed the Phils to an embarrassing loss, one that at this moment draws Florida into a first-place tie in the wild-card race.

In the eighth inning alone, Tomas Perez turned a single into an out when he overran first base on an infield hit, juked toward second when the throw went wide, and was tagged out by Richie Sexson after turning and strolling back toward first; then Tyler Houston was pegged trying to turn a Texas leaguer into a double, when the pitcher covered second in place of the two infielders converging on the pop fly.

An inning earlier, with the Phillies down by a run, Bobby Abreu eased into third on a softly hit single to right, only to be waved around. The delay proved costly, as Abreu was punched out at home and turned his ankle to boot.

What a sad way to start this brutal stretch. Three ghastly losses to baseball's third-worst team -- this is unspeakably bad stuff. Unacceptable, really. Milwaukee obviously came to play, while the Phils, perhaps expecting the Brewers to roll over and throw their paws in the air, offered a passionless, wussy performance that earned them a broom out of town. May they be forced to drink the Miller Brewing Co.'s bland swill as penance on their charter to St. Louis.


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