Mother Nature wreaks havoc at U.S. Cellular Field (video)

4 Comments

Mother Nature wreaked havoc on U.S. Cellular Field Tuesday night, as a wild thunderstorm hit the contest between the White Sox and the Cubs, causing a 1 hour, 44-minute delay.

Heavy winds made it difficult to get the tarp on the field, leaving the infield a muddy mess for crews to battle after the rain finally stopped.  If you watch the video above, you can see it’s a miracle they got the tarp on at all, as it took quite an effort just to get things under control.

Aside from the weather, there were some notable things from the game itself, which the White Sox won 3-2, thanks to a sacrifice fly by Brent Morel in the seventh inning.

  • Paul Konerko continued his hot streak, hitting a home run for the fifth straight game. It was his 21st of the season and came off Matt Garza in the second inning. The record for consecutive games with a home run is eight, shared by Ken Griffey Jr., Don Mattingly and Dale Long.
  • In a far more random stat, White Sox starter Mark Buehrle came up short in his bid to earn his major league-best 25th interleague win. Buehrle left the game with a 2-1 lead, but Jesse Crain came on after the delay and surrendered a game-tying sac fly to Aramis Ramirez.
  • Adam Dunn, who is hitting .175, went 0-for-4 and struck out twice. He has now whiffed 91 times in 217 at-bats this season. Dunn has walked 41 times, though, leading Ozzie Guillen to quip: “I should put Dunn at leadoff because he’s the one who gets on base the most, but instead of striking out four (times), he might strike out six (times).”

Phillies walk off winners thanks to a poor decision by Marcell Ozuna

Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images
4 Comments

The Phillies’ bullpen, which has not been good as of late, gift-wrapped Monday’s game for the Cardinals. Starter Nick Pivetta was brilliant, fanning 13 while allowing two runs in 7 1/3 innings. But things unraveled after he left the game. Victor Arano took over for Edubray Ramos to start the ninth inning with the Phillies leading 4-2, but he allowed a one-out single and a double. After striking out Harrison Bader, Arano appeared to strike out Yairo Munoz for the final out of the game, but the ball trickled through the legs of catcher Andrew Knapp, allowing a run to score and the tying run to move to third base. Lefty Adam Morgan came in to face pinch-hitter Kolten Wong. Wong tied the game up, sneaking a single into center field.

In the 10th inning, Jake Thompson gave up the go-ahead run on a leadoff home run to Tommy Pham. It seemed like it was just going to be another one of those losses that have become increasingly common for the Phillies lately. But the Phillies’ offense didn’t go down quietly, even though it hadn’t put a runner on second base since the start of the second inning when J.P. Crawford doubled. In the bottom half of the 10th, Hoskins blooped a single into shallow left-center to start the inning. Hoskins moved to second base on a ground out from Odubel Herrera. Matt Bowman intentionally walked Carlos Santana, then struck out Jesmuel Valentin. That brought up Aaron Altherr, who replaced Nick Williams after Williams took a baseball to the face off of the right field fence. Bowman fell behind 2-1, then threw a 90 MPH fastball that Altherr lined into left field. Rather than keep the ball in front of him, Marcell Ozuna decided to dive for the ball to make the final out, but he missed. The ball trickled past him, allowing the tying and the game-winning runs to score, giving the Phillies a come-from-behind win.

On the list of people happy to see Ozuna miss that ball are Altherr (of course), Arano, Morgan, and Thompson. But perhaps no one was happier than manager Gape Kapler. The win might help take the heat off of him somewhat after another poor performance from the bullpen. When a team struggles, everyone wants a scapegoat and Kapler is an easy target. He has been all year, undeservingly.

Phillies radio broadcaster and former major league reliever Larry Anderson said after the bullpen meltown, “Not everybody can pitch in the ninth inning. And I know Gabe Kapler thinks they can, but they can’t.” Aside from Ramos and Seranthony Dominguez (who was unavailable after throwing 52 pitches between Saturday and Sunday in Milwaukee), no one in that bullpen has been reliable. The closer, Hector Neris, just got optioned to Triple-A. You work with what you have, and right now, Kapler doesn’t have a whole lot. Thankfully for him, he wasn’t punished with another loss thanks to Ozuna.