Saturday, September 15, 2012

2005 Ultra #96 Billy Wagner

Astros 6, Phillies 4
Game 144 - Thursday Night, September 13th in Houston
Record - 72-72, 3rd Place, 17 1/2 games behind the Nationals

One Sentence Summary:  The Phillies let one get away by not capitalizing on scoring opportunities, and letting the Astros take advantage of a stretched bullpen.

What It Means:  Following this game, the Phils were four games back in the race for the second Wild Card.  The loss snapped a seven-game win streak.

What Went Wrong:  The Phils plated four early runs and were then shut out for the final six innings.  The Astros scored six unanswered runs - three in the fourth and three in the eighth - against starter Tyler Cloyd and relievers Phillippe Aumont and Jake Diekman.

Featured Card:  The Astros have given the Phillies a rough time of it over the past decade, and as this article from Phillies Nation points out, the Phillies are 3-12 against the Astros from August-onward between 2009 and 2011.  (Now 3-13 following this latest loss.)

Perhaps the most devastating loss at the hands of the Astros came back on September 7, 2005, when Craig Biggio hit a crushing three-run home run off Phillies closer Billy Wagner.  The home run was unearned, thanks to a costly David Bell error, and it gave the Astros an 8-6 lead and the eventual win.  The Phils finished 1 game back in the Wild Card race that year and many Phillies fans (including this one) point to the Biggio homer off Wagner as the moment when it all started to slip away for the '05 Phils.


Steve F. said...

Recall that Billy Wagner famously took a Craig Biggio jersey into the locker room before the game and had Biggio sign it for his son. Then he gave up the three-run homer. Then he cried like a baby about Phillies fans being mean to him.

That Biggio autograph made things even worse from a fan standpoint for him.

Jim said...

I felt about Wagner the way I feel about our current closer.