Wednesday, September 21, 2011

1997 Fleer #684 Mark Portugal

Nationals 3, Phillies 0 (Game 2)
Game 154 - Tuesday Night, September 20th in Philadelphia

One Sentence Summary:  The Phillies dropped their fourth game in a row since clinching the division.

What It Means:  It means the Phillies aren't fun to watch right now.  Manager Charlie Manuel calls it a "lack of focus."  I call it bad baseball.

What Went Wrong:  The offense managed three hits off Nationals' pitching.  Cliff Lee (16-8) scattered 11 hits over seven innings while allowing three runs (two earned).  He struck out nine.

Featured Card:  The double header sweep was the first by the Nationals franchise over the Phillies since they were the Montreal Expos back on April 20, 1997.  The Phils dropped the second game of that double header also by a score of 3-0, but they managed five hits back then.  Mark Portugal was tagged with the loss as he allowed three runs on four hits in 4 2/3 innings.  The line-up for that day's Game 2 consisted of such notables as Rob Butler in center, Derrick May in right, Mark Parent behind the plate and Ruben Amaro, Jr. in left.  After exiting the game, Portugal was followed by Scott Ruffcorn, Mike Mimbs and Jerry Spradlin on the mound.  I guess whenever I get frustrated by the '11 squad (one of the best in franchise history), it helps to reflect back on the '97 squad (by far, one of the worst).

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