Phils blow late-inning opportunities, lose to White Sox in game one


After a rainout cost the Phillies game one of a weekend set Friday, the Phillies turned around Saturday to have a day-night double header with the Chicago White Sox. The Phils sent Jonathan Pettibone to the mound in game one, while the Sox countered with a John of their own, in John Danks.

The Phillies got after Danks early, as Dom Brown grounded out to Alexi Ramirez to plate Jimmy Rollins and give the Phillies the early edge. The Phils would tack on another run in the first on a Delmon Young RBI single, which brought Michael Young home, before Delmon Young was thrown out trying to stretch his single into a double.

Pettibone cruised through the first four innings, as the Phillies appeared to be headed to an easy win over the lowly White Sox. But Pettibone ran into trouble in both the fifth and sixth inning, allowing three runs. The biggest blow came from White Sox outfielder Alejandro De Aza, whose two-run double tied the game in the fifth. Pettibone finished the afternoon with a line of six innings, six hits allowed, and three earned runs. That normally wouldn’t be bad for a rookie pitcher on a steaming hot day, but the Phillies need to start sweeping series against bad teams, and this series against the White Sox looked to be a perfect time for that trend to start.

Darin Ruf came alive in the seventh hoping to do his part to help the Phils get back the lead, as he hit a solo shot off White Sox reliever Matt Lindstrom to tie the game. Ruf also helped Antonio Bastardo get through the eighth, as he made a sliding catch on the warning track along the first-base line. I don’t think it is time to start the trade Ryan Howard to play Darin Ruf campaign, but Ruf certainly was impressive today.

Darin Ruf makes a sliding catch in the eighth inning. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

For whatever reason, Charlie Manuel put Jonathan Papelbon in game one of the doubleheader to pitch the ninth inning, even though the game was tied three to three and it wasn’t a save situation. Regardless of the logic, or lack there of, Paps got through the ninth throwing under 20 pitches, so he should be good for game two, if needed.

As Papelbon finished his ninth inning, fans fled from there seats after a light drizzle turned into a heavy downpour. Home-plate catcher and Brian O’Nora suspended the game after the top of the ninth, which turned into a nearly 40 minute rain-delay.

The Phillies came out of the rain-delay swinging. Kevin Frandsen lead off with a single, followed by a single off the mound from Darin Ruf. As Carlos Ruiz squared to lay down a sacrifice bunt, White Sox reliever Nate Jones got turned around and balked. The balk moved Kevin Frandsen up to third and Ruf up to second with no one out. It felt like the game was over, but then again this team isn’t exactly full of clutch hitters. Carlos Ruiz hit a shallow pop-fly to left, Laynce Nix struck out, and Ben Revere lined out, to strand Frandsen and Ruf and send the game to extra innings. Yeah.

Fortunately J.C. Ramirez got through the top of the 10th to give the Phillies another shot in the home half. After Michael Young walked, Dom Brown hit a sharp ground ball that got under annual gold-glove winner Adam Dunn’s glove, to give the Phillies a first and third with only one out and a chance to win. And they blew that shot again too. Delmon Young struck out, and Kevin Frandsen grounded out. Those were two extremely unproductive innings, that didn’t make the Phillies look like a playoff team. But one productive thing did come from those two innings after all.

So at least there is that to fall back on. Because there didn’t end up being a win to fall back on.

In the tenth inning J.C. Ramirez stayed on for his second inning of work. Ramirez got the first two batters out, and then karma caught up with the Phillies. After blowing two straight chances to win the game Alejandro De Aza started the Phillies downfall with a two-out triple. Alexei Ramirez came up next and laced a double into right-field to take the lead. The Sox would add on another run on a Jimmy Rollins error, which proved to be huge.

The Phillies, of course, were able to knock in one run in the bottom of the tenth. Humberto Quintero pinch-hit and drove in Darin Ruf, to make it a five to four game. But after hitting a ball of his ankle, Ben Revere grounded into a game ending double-play.

Playoff teams would have won this game. I don’t know, that’s just the feeling I get after this one. And this isn’t an ideal situation to turn around and have another game after.