Doc Loses One in the Ninth

Doc Loses One in the Ninth

In his defense, Charlie Manuel was faced with a difficult decision. With runners on first and second with nobody out in the ninth, he could go to his choice of an arm out of the bullpen, or stick with the reigning National League Cy Young Award winner to face Lyle Overbay.

Manuel stuck with the guy who already pitched six complete games this season, and leads Major League Baseball in that category for the fifth consecutive year. On this occasion, it wasn't meant to be. Diamondbacks first baseman Lyle Overbay, who had driven in the club's only run to that point, doubled into the gap in deep right, bringing home the decisive runs to give Arizona the 3-2 victory.

It was their 35th come-from-behind victory in 2011.

Overbay had experienced success against Roy Halladay in the past, batting a solid .300 in 10 career at bats. He raised that lifetime a few points tonight, going three-for-four en route to dropping Doc to 15-5 for the season. Overbay's first RBI came earlier in the second inning, singling after center fielder Chris Young stole second base.

The Phils later took the lead in the bottom of the fifth. Jimmy Rollins singled to right, setting up a Shane Victorino blast that just cleared the fence in right, number 13 for the season. Dbacks rookie Josh Collmenter was pretty sharp however, allowing two earned and striking out eight through 6.2, while the bullpen held the Fightins scoreless.

But ultimately, the game came down to whether or not the manager should pull Halladay with runners on in the ninth. We tend to think you can't go wrong when Roy is on the hill, and he had been cruising up to that point, retiring 12 straight heading into the ninth. He also struck out 14, tying a season high.

Hey, as we pointed out earlier, the Diamondbacks are tough, and perfectly capable of playing the foil to the Phils. You're officially on notice.

Roy Halladay's First Extra Base Hit
Ever. EVER. And it was a thing of beauty, one of two hits on the night.

Leading off the bottom of the seventh, Halladay drove a 3-2 pitch deep to right field, so deep he actually appeared to freeze up a little before busting it down the line. The ball sailed over a stunned Justin Upton, landing at the base of the wall, just out feet away from the fans' reach. Halladay coasted safely into second for the stand-up double. Some shrewd base running got him to third base with one out, where he finished a number on the left-on-base column.

If either Victorino been able to smack a fly ball, or Chase Utley a base hit, maybe this game would have wound up in a different result, or at least extra innings.

Chooch-Love
Aside from the meaningful action, there was a scary, painful-even-though-it's-not-you moment in the top of the sixth. While in his crouch behind home plate, Carlos Ruiz took a foul ball right to the groin, which resulted in exactly the sort of reaction that specific pain elicits. After visits from both the trainer and Charlie Manuel, Chooch eventually got to his feet to huge ovation from the crowd, and unpleasant as it must've been, got himself back into the game.

That man is a legend.

The Phillies season in one video: 'Phanatic tries to comfort crying baby'

The Phillies season in one video: 'Phanatic tries to comfort crying baby'

What is there to say about the Philadelphia Phillies?

In doing my usual postgame perusal of the Internet after their 7-2 loss on Wednesday night, I visited Phillies.com to see what kind of "highlights" they could have possibly posted from another crushing defeat at the hands of the Colorado Rockies.

Thankfully, the first thing that caught my eye was a video titled, "Phanatic tries to comfort crying baby."

It was not Larry Andersen in the Phanatic's arms. Nor me.

And that's the Phillies season in a nutshell.

"You gotta question the parenting skills here," John Kruk said on the telecast. And he's right! What kind of parent would raise their kid to be a Philly sports fan?!?

The Phillies now have the worst record in all of baseball. They're 4-20 in their last 24 games. It's their worst start to a season since 1960.

Even the Phanatic doesn't have enough popcorn to mask all the pain.

If you want to read about the upbeat approach Pete Mackanin is taking, go give this a gander.

"In a long season, these things sometimes happen," Mackanin told reporters. "I remember Atlanta, the first half last year, was terrible. They had a real good second half. I believe we just need to get something going. We're going to put something together. I believe that."

That makes one of us.

Highly ranked 2018 recruit Brandon Slater verbally commits to Villanova

Highly ranked 2018 recruit Brandon Slater verbally commits to Villanova

The future of Villanova basketball just got brighter.

Brandon Slater, a 6-foot-6 wing and highly touted 2018 recruit, told Scout.com on Wednesday night that he has verbally committed to the Wildcats.

He later made the announcement on Twitter.

Among the 2018 recruiting class, Slater, a product of Paul VI Catholic High School in Fairfax, Virginia, is ranked in the top 30 by Scout.com and top 50 by ESPN.com. He's slated as a four-star talent by both media outlets.

Per ESPN, Slater had offers from Louisville, Maryland, Miami, Syracuse, USC and Virginia Tech. He is Villanova's first commitment for 2018.

"Going up there it just feels like a second home," Slater said, via Evan Daniels of Scout.com. "It gives me a good vibe. It's nothing like all the other schools. I just feel like a Villanova guy. It feels like PVI. It's already home."

Slater and Villanova head coach Jay Wright expressed their excitement on Twitter.