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ryan franklin would like you to know he didn't even pitch tonight.

 well, that was something. if tonight's game were a movie, critics would be panning it in every newspaper in the country. it began slow, thoughtful, and painstaking, like "remains of the day," and ended in a slasher flick.

we came into it knowing that it was a challenge. we were facing one of the best pitchers in baseball, with our fifth starter on the mound. our all-star first baseman just went on the disabled list, likely to return just before school starts. we were one game away from a very ugly losing streak.

so when kyle mcclellan came out looking fairly sharp (albeit giving up 4 walks that were only partly the fault of terrible unpiring), and left the game in the seventh with a 2-1 lead, it looked like we might pull out an unexpected victory against one of the best teams in the majors.

then, the eighth inning happened.

trever miller who is just not right got a babip-lucky line-out and allowed two baserunners, pitching to only one lefthander iirc. then, our roogy, with an extreme left-right split, came in to face one of the best left-handed hitters in the league (and one of the left-handed hitters with the most extreme split). motte hit him, and placido polanco to boot.

two hbp in a row are rarely a good sign. so motte was pulled in favor of tallet, who gave up a single and netted the second out on a k. then batista came in, and tried to tire out the phillies by walking them. then mikael cleto came in and allowed several more runs (most of them on batista's dime), and soone we had a nine run inning.

cleto pitched the ninth inning, and nobody else scored. cards lose, 10-2.

the bullpen, who'd garnered some suspicion earlier in the season, looks in need of a major overhaul.  batista never belonged there, and is maybe working his way out of it. tallet was a marginal talent who i would not sweat losing. franklin (who, he has requested i note, did not pitch tonight) and miller are aging relievers with a history of decent and good performance, respectively. however, both look increasingly like they are not just unlucky, but broken. maikel cleto, like dante in "clerks" "shouldn't even be here." but he is, and the only upside is he gives up hits and walks at 100 mph.  jason motte is a decent reliever, who had a terrible night.

i think it's safe to say neither salas nor boggs is likely to be demoted soon.

that was a kick in the ass. let's get up tomorrow and do it again. with maybe better results.