U.S.S. PhillieSox

It is like watching an old war movie.

You see a battleship that has been hit by torpedo after torpedo trying to make it ashore, back to safe haven. On the boat are Marines, sailors, soldiers who have been injured. Guys played by William Bendix, James Garner or Robert Taylor. Today, it might star Brad Pitt and be produced by Tom Hanks and Stephen Spielberg and directed by Quentin Tarantino.

As the seas get rougher and missiles keep flying in, the camera pans the proud vessel, the crew is battered, fatigued and desperately trying to bail water and keep their boat afloat. We reach sickbay and it is overflowing with the numerous injured and disabled; the key personnel so critical for this ship to survive.

We move to the command room and see the ship captain trying to keep the ship at sea, trying to manipulate personnel and limited resources from stem to stern so that they can reach shore. Back on land, upper level commanders are working day and night trying to find able-bodied replacements. This vessel needs shore leave.

But that is just the movie in my mind. In real life, the Phillies and the Red Sox are in the same boat. They are two teams struggling with injuries to key personnel trying to hang in three-team races in East divisions of each league. The boat is leaking everywhere and losing ground.

The U.S.S. PhillieSox needs the All-Star break.

Last night, Brian McCann hit a bases loaded, bases clearing double in a six-run 6th, as Atlanta beat the Phillies, 7-5. Martin Prado had a two homers and Matt Diaz had one as Jamie Moyer (9-8) allowed seven runs and seven hits in 5.1 innings.

The great artwork of Chris Speakman

Philadelphia is now six games behind Atlanta as they have lost 7-of-10. It’s the furthest they’ve been out of first place since Sept. 13, 2007 when they were 6.5 behind the New York Mets. We know what happened then, as the Phils came back to win the East, however they were only battling the Mess and they were fully manned. Playing without Chase Utley, Placido Polanco, Carlos Ruiz, J.A. Happ, Chad Durbin and Antonio Bastardo does not help your team.

Between the Braves beating the 47-year old Moyer and the Rays beating the 43-year old Tim Wakefield, 6-4, for their fifth straight victory, the U.S.S. PhillieSox had a combined 90+ years of pitchers on the mound last night. They looked it.

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Wake threw 5.2 innings last night and gave up six runs on four hits and six walks. Last night, the Sox made two errors (Adrian Beltre, Bill Hall, and there should have been one on Marco Scutaro and a partial one given to Kevin Youkilis), threw three wild pitches, a passed ball, allowed three stolen bases, and they struck out 11 times. Playing without Dustin Pedroia, Victor Martinez, Jacoby Ellsbury, Jeremy Hermida, Jason Varitek, Josh Beckett, Clay Buchholz, Manny Delcarmen and Mike Lowell does not help your team.

David Price (12-4) became the first 12-game winner in the AL. The Rays used three pitchers to get the final four outs, with Matt Garza making his first relief appearance in three years and earning his first save (much to the delight of Fantasy Baseball fanatics who can now list Garza as a reliever if they choose).

The Sox have lost four in a row. Tampa Bay began the week a half-game behind the Sox and now leads Boston by 2.5. The Yankees and Rays both have won five straight and have each picked up four games in four days against the Sox. The Yankees now lead Boston by 4.5.

Nick Swisher homered and doubled as the Yankees completed a sweep of the Oakland Athletics with a 6-2 win. Mark Teixeira hit a three-run homer to help A.J. Burnett (7-7) win for the first time in more than five weeks. The Red Sox have very rough seas to navigate, as the Yankees are a season-best 22 games over .500 at 53-31.

Meanwhile back in the NL, the only bright spot for the Phils was that Bronson Arroyo (9-4) outpitched Jonathon Niese (6-3) and the Cincinnati beat the New York Mets, 3-1. The Phils remain 3 behind New York.

The bad news for the Phils is that now they have to face the first-place red-hot Reds next. The news is marginally better for the Sox as they head to Toronto and even though the Jays are 42-43 they are talented enough to cause trouble for the staggering Sox.

The U.S.S. PhillieSox needs the All-Star break, the sooner, and the better, before they sink.

Yesterday

AL

Rays 6, Red Sox 4

Yankees 6, A’s 2

White Sox 5, Angels 2, four straight for the ChiSox, three straight for the Halos

Rangers 4, Indians 3, Michael Young homered, Josh Hamilton has hit in 27 straight at home

Blue Jays 6, Twins 5, Jose Bautista hits his 22nd but keeps it in the park

Tigers 4, Orioles 2, Max Scherzer beats the WO’s

Royals 7, Mariners 3

NL

Braves 7, Phillies 5

Reds 3, Mets 1

Giants 15, Brewers 2, Buster Posey hits a pair and drives home 6

Nationals 7, Padres 6, Adam Dunn done it three times

Marlins 4, Dodgers 0, Josh Johnson now the NL CYA

Rockies 8, Cardinals 7, Chris Iannetta with a leadoff walkoff home run

Cubs 8, Diamondbacks 3, Cubs sweeps! Who cares?

Astros 6, Pirates 3, I prefer root canal

Today

AL

Angels (Ervin Santana) at White Sox (John Danks), 2:05

Twins (Scott Baker) at Blue Jays (Brett Cecil), 7:07

Indians (Jake Westbrook) at Rays (Wade Davis), 7:10

Orioles (Jeremy Guthrie) at Rangers (Tommy Hunter), 8:05

Yankees (Andy Pettitte) at Mariners (Jason Vargas), 10:10

NL

Pirates (Ross Ohlendorf) at Astros (Roy Oswalt), 2:05

Giants (Barry Zito) at Brewers (Manny Parra), 2:10

Cardinals (Chris Carpenter) at Rockies (Ubaldo Jimenez), 3:10

Padres (Mat Latos) at Nationals (Luis Atilano), 7:05

Reds (Johnny Cueto) at Phillies (Kyle Kendrick), 7:05

Marlins (Anibal Sanchez) at Diamondbacks (Rodrigo Lopez), 9:40

Cubs (Randy Wells) at Dodgers (Clayton Kershaw), 10:10