Sunday, April 13, 2008

Utley's error gives Cubs tainted win

The Cubs needed a blown call by an umpire to narrowly avoid getting swept by the Phillies. The Cubs had a runners on first and second in a game that was tied in the 10th inning when Carlos Zambrano, who was pinch hitting because the Cubs ran out of hitters, hit a grounder that looked like a sure double play to shortstop Eric Bruntlett. Bruntlett flipped the ball to Chase Utley at second base for one out, and Utley promptly threw the ball away when attempting to get it to first baseman Ryan Howard. The error allowed the lead runner to score the game winning run for the Cubs, who won by a score of 6-5.

Of course, it should have never come down to that play, except Cubs second baseman Mark DeRosa hit a phantom home run in the 6th inning. DeRosa hit the ball down the line, and the umpires called it a fair ball while replays clearly showed it going foul. Pat Burrell came in from the outfield to argue the play, and Charlie Manuel fumed his way into getting ejected from the game.

The Phillies, who were playing without Shane Victorino and Jimmy Rollins, rallied from a 2-run defecit in the 6th inning to take the lead only to watch Tom Gordon allow the Cubs to get runners on base and tie it up in the 8th. With the exception of Gordon, the bullpen was once again lights out for the Phils, with Chad Durbin, J.C. Romero, Brad Lidge and Rudy Seanez all not allowing an earned run in a combined 4 2/3 innings. Romero gave up the hit that allowed the Cubs to score in the 8th, but the runner was let on base by Gordon.

Offensively, the Phillies got a great performance from Jayson Werth. Werth went 2 for 4, with a homer, 2 RBI's, 2 runs scored, a walk and 2 stolen bases. Early season goat Eric Bruntlett also hit his first homer of the season.

The Phillies have an off day tomorrow, and then Ed Wade and the Houston Astros come to town for a three game series that begins Tuesday. As long as the umps don't screw them again, they should have no problem taking the series against the Astros.

Here are highlights from the game, including footage of the "home run" by DeRosa, with the subsequent reaction of Charlie Manuel and the Phillies:

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