When Ryan Madson allowed a second home run in the ninth inning Thursday at Citizens Bank Park, the Phillies closer put his hands on his head and pulled his hat off in disgust. Jimmy Rollins sauntered to the mound from shortstop as Tyler Colvin rounded the bases, but this helped no one.
Then, five minutes later, it wasn't a home run. And a game the Phillies thought they had won, then lost, then won again was eventually lost in the 11th. After a 4-3 loss to the Cubs, the fingers of blame could be pointed in just about every direction.
The Phillies had seven hits in 11 innings and none from the fifth to the ninth inning. The only offense came on one swing, a Jimmy Rollins three-run home run in the second inning. Three relievers, including Madson, allowed runs.
The Cubs won it in the 11th with an infield hit, a passed ball, and an error by the sure-handed Placido Polanco. Polanco fielded a routine ground ball with two outs and bounced the throw to Ryan Howard at first. Colvin scored from second.
This game had delved well into weirdness by the ninth, when Colvin's hit off Madson was initially ruled a home run, but Phillies manager Charlie Manuel asked for a review. It was a lengthy one, and when the umpires returned to the field, they signaled for both Manuel and Cubs manager Mike Quade to join them. When Manuel arrived, crew chief Gary Cederstrom emphatically pointed to second. It was a double, not a go-ahead home run.
The umpires decided a fan reached over the railing in right, tipped the ball, allowing it to clear the fence via interference. As Quade argued, Madson - handed a second chance - threw some warm-up pitches in an attempt to collect his thoughts.
He was all over the place, but escaped by a thread. Madson struck out pinch-hitter DJ LeMahieu, intentionally walked Kosuke Fukudome, and then induced a Darwin Barney inning-ending groundout to short.
It was still a blown save, Madson's first this season in 15 chances, and happened on a night when the Phillies bullpen had recorded 15 outs before him to preserve a lead.
The signs came early that this night would be strange. They needed the security guards, the bat boy, a bunch of sandbags, and nine vehicles, along with the grounds crew, to pin the tarp on the field at Citizens Bank Park when the winds came in the third inning.
The rain arrived soon after, and a delay of one hour, 17 minutes forced Kyle Kendrick - who had skipped once through the Chicago lineup - from returning. The Phillies had a lead, but they had to ask the bullpen for 18 outs.
Danys Baez logged some long relief. J.C. Romero retired another lefty. Michael Stutes created slight trouble only for Antonio Bastardo to wiggle free. Jose Contreras was touched up for one run in the eighth, but stranded the tying run in scoring position.
Until the ninth, the support of one swing by Rollins, a three-run home run in the second inning, was enough. Rollins was making his first start since Saturday because of a bruise on his right knee.
After the delay, Manuel turned first to Baez, who was spotless for his first two innings. He tired in his third inning as he neared 40 pitches after recording the first two outs of the sixth.
With a runner on second, Starlin Castro singled to right. Domonic Brown stutter-stepped when charging the ball and his throw one-hopped backup catcher Dane Sardinha, who could not field it. Barney doubled back to touch home plate and it was a two-run game. The Cubs added a run off Contreras in the eighth before tagging Madson in the ninth.
The Phillies offense shut down after the rain delay. After a Polanco single in the fourth, they did not have another hit until Raul Ibanez's infield single in the 10th.
The game continued into extra innings because of a video replay, but it only elongated an exercise in offensive futility.