Wednesday, April 28, 2010 was the day I received an unexpected gift. I was watching my beloved Phillies struggle against the Giants' Tim Lincecum. Other than 2 solid hits by Ryan Howard and a fight-it-off inside-out-swing single by Placido Polanco, my Phillies were futile and absolutely hitless against the talented Mr. Lincecum. The Giants held a three run lead as the Phillies came to bat in the ninth inning. I was sure that the Phillies were about to be swept in a series for the first time in 2010. Only a miracle could save them.
Then there was a very slight glimmer of hope - Lincecum issued a walk. But then the Phillies and I received a great present! Giants' Manager Bruce Bochy came out of the dugout and removed Lincecum from the game! I don't think Tim wanted to leave the game; he certainly still had great stuff and a relatively low pitch-count. But, like several modern-day Managers, Bruce Bochy believes in the fallacious "CLOSER" theory. That is, some managers apparently believe that their "Closer" will ALWAYS perform better than whoever has been pitching before them. So it was out with Lincecum, and in with Wilson. I told my wife (who usually watches the Phillies games with me) "This is the best thing that could happen to the Phillies right now, getting Lincecum out of the game. Now they have a real chance to win".
Manager Bruce Bochy removed a man who had been absolutely humiliating the Phillies with the movement on his pitches and brought in a hard-throwing relief pitcher. Now the Phillies might have their hitting flaws, but most of their players can handle big league fastballs; moreover, they can be patient in making fastball pitches throw strikes. Well, you know the rest. Wilson blew the save, and the Phillies tied the game. Then, after two topsy-turvey extra innings featuring bad relief pitching by both teams, the Phils eked out a 7-6 victory. In my opinion, the most valuable player award should be awarded to Giants' Manager Bruce Bochy for doing the most to help the Phillies win the game and end their losing streak. I was delighted with this victory and I owe it all to Bruce. Thank you, Bruce, from the bottom of my heart!