The Phils pulled out a much-needed win in the bottom of the ninth last night against the Padres. Aaron Rowand delivered a walk-off single to score Ryan Howard as Tom Gordon got the win. The come from behind mentality may have been aided by a team meeting called by Jimmy Rollins prior to the start of the game. Even the veteran closer was impressed by the leadership of Rollins, "He was definitely taking the reins. I think the time was right. And he gave everybody an opportunity to say whatever they wanted to say." It seemed like it worked, because instead of letting the game slip away after some poor fielding and ineffective relief pitching late in the game, the team rebounded to secure a win in the first game of their homestand.
The Phillies were also aided by Carlos Ruiz’s first career homerun, which put the team up 5-2 after a five-run fourth inning. Ruiz was of course called up earlier in the week to replace the ailing Sal Fasano who is on the 15-day DL with inflammation in his right knee. Ruiz’s two run shot was a crucial boost for the rookie who struggled in his first callup earlier in the season and now will be relied on heavily with both Fasano and Lieberthal on the mend. It is also especially gratifying since Ruiz, as well as Jason Jaramillo, were left off Baseball Prospectus’ list of top 15 catching prospects (though it’s possible Ruiz’s major league service may have disqualified him). I hate to put more pressure on the rookie, but Ruiz will need to continue contributing offensively if the Phillies are going to head into the All-Star break on a positive note.