Blog Entry

Phillies don't get any breaks

Posted on: October 24, 2008 2:49 am

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- When you strand 11 runners and go 1-for-15 with runners in scoring position, as Philadelphia did dropping Game 2 of the World Series to Tampa Bay on Thursday -- the final was 4-2 -- you pretty much deserve whatever fate befalls you.

But before this series heads north to Philadelphia, a quick moment here to say that Charlie Manuel's club got no breaks on Thursday.

Specifically, there were two moments involving plate umpire Kerwin Danley that could have -- should have -- gone Philadelphia's way. Neither did.

The first came in the second inning and cost the Phillies a run. With one out and a runner on first, Phillies starter Brett Myers worked a full count on Rocco Baldelli before unleashing a pitch that sure looked to be in the strike zone -- and it appeared as if, on a check swing, Baldelli went too far.

Danley raised his right arm as if to signal strike three ... then, after hesitating, pointed to first base. Ball four, and Dioner Navarro to second. He scored from there two batters later, on B.J. Upton's single.

Manuel hollered from the dugout and eventually came out to discuss the issue with Danley. From the mound, Myers hollered something else and was visibly angry. He thought it was strike three.

"He swung, for one," Myers said. "And two, I thought the pitch caught some of the plate.

"I can't understand why he didn't call it a strike. He had his hand up. ... He definitely called him out. It cost me a run. But you've got to keep pitching."

Said Manuel: "I thought he called the guy out. But he said he was pointing like that, he pointed to go to first base. But to me, when he brought his hand up, I thought he called the guy out."

The second bad break for the Phillies came in the ninth as they were trying to fight back from a 4-1 defecit.

After catcher Carlos Ruiz led off with a double, rookie David Price came inside with a pitch to shortstop Jimmy Rollins -- far enough inside that television replays showed it clearly grazed Rollins' jersey.

The shortstop pleaded his case, but Danley would not rule it a hit-by-pitch. So instead of two on, none out and the beginnings of a rally against Price, Ruiz remained at second with one out.

"He couldn’t hear it," Rollins said. "With 46,000 people screaming in your ear, it's probably tough to hear."

Rollins then added philosophically, "That's the beauty of sports. Sometimes you get a call, and sometimes you don't."

Rollins came away happy he wasn't injured on the play.

"I'm fortunate it didn't hit the bottom of my rib cage," he said. "That's where it was headed. The first thing I felt was relief. But it did get my jersey."

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