Improbable Comeback Caps Big Win – Phillies Nation

Improbable Comeback Caps Big Win

The Phillies were left for dead as the ninth inning approached at Shea Stadium Tuesday night. But something funny went down — the Phils won.

Down 5-2 in the ninth, the Phils rattled off five hits, including two crucial two-run doubles, en route to a stunning six-run inning and eventual 8-6 win over the Mets.

For one, thank the Mets bullpen yet again. The Phils can just hit them, no other way of putting it. They got to Duaner Sanchez, then Joe Smith, then Pedro Feliciano. And they did it with singles and doubles, clutch knocks, situational knocks.

It started with a Jayson Werth single. Then a Greg Dobbs single. Then a Shane Victorino single. Pulses grew. Bases loaded. Carlos Ruiz almost hit into a trademark deflating double play, but Jose Reyes boneheadedly didn’t make the out and Victorino beat him to second.

Then came the move of the game. With Feliciano coming in, the announced Geoff Jenkins was pulled by interim manager Jimy Williams (Charlie Manuel had been ejected) for So Taguchi. And So, without a pinch hit this year, delivered — what else — a two-run pinch hit double. And to seize the lead, Jimmy Rollins came out of his hole with a huge double of his own. An insurance lucky run allowed Brad Lidge to grab the somewhat simple save.

The amazing ninth saved Joe Blanton, who — while we can’t bash him too much on that outing — pitched a mediocre six frames. He gave up five runs on eight hits while walking three. Definitely not the Blanton we were told was coming, but he gets a mulligan (partly because Carlos Delgado swung at that alleged ball).

The amazing ninth won it for Chad Durbin, who along with JC Romero and Rudy Seanez, prevented any further damage. Seanez was bailed out by a throw-out of Endy Chavez at the plate by Werth, and a phenomenal diving grab by Chase Utley.

Chavez was also thrown out in the third by a pristine relay of Pat Burrell and Rollins.

The amazing ninth put another no decision in Johan Santana’s pocket. He was on point after the first inning, settng down the Phils with ease. After this one, Jerry Manuel has to start thinking about making Santana a nine-inning pitcher.

The amazing ninth also induced some hope in all of us. For one inning the hitting was crisp and clean, and nothing ever flew out of the park. For one inning the Phils were doing everything they needed to score runs. For one inning the machine seemed intact. And at the very best time. The win puts the Phils back ahead of the pack in the NL East, one game up on the Mets and Marlins.

Associated Press photo

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  1. scot

    July 23, 2008 at 9:19 am

    Great win. I watched the Mets postgame last night. A reporter asked, “Given the circumstances of this game, can we ever expect Santana to pitch a complete game?” Manuel replied something about a pitch count, blah blah blah.

    You can pay a pitcher with all the skill in the world 137.5 million dollars, but that doesn’t mean he’ll show heart and guts when his team needs it.

    I’ve been rough on Cole Hamels at times, but in that situation Cole would have demanded that his manager leave him in for the 9th. And in that you see the main difference between the Phils teams of the past two years and the Mets teams.

  2. Geoff

    July 23, 2008 at 9:25 am

    yeah santana has to be pissed. that was a nice win because they singled and doubled the mets bullpen to death. that was quality

  3. Phlorida

    July 23, 2008 at 9:27 am

    i tore my rotator cuff in celebration when i saw the updated 9th inning score on the sportcenter ticker last night. It was worth it too. Way to go So and Jimmy for reaching down and grabbing a pair when it counted, the seemingly daily Chase Utley Airshow, Victorino’s relentless hustle and to the bullpen for holding it all down! Keep it up boys, and maybe now Jimmy will show that fire we’ve all been looking for!!!!

  4. scot

    July 23, 2008 at 9:32 am

    That’s a great pic of Johnny Wacko and Howard waiting for Taguchi at the top of the dugout. And then the Mets fan with two beers in front of him, despondent that sales have been cut off. Love it.

  5. ped

    July 23, 2008 at 9:44 am

    i feel another win coming tonight boys!

  6. Brian

    July 23, 2008 at 9:48 am

    Loved the win lst night. I read the blog a lot only comment a little. I must say the crap from the idiot mets fans is getting old. I’m thinking I’d rather not read if that’s the way this site is going. That would be a shame because I find the blogs and comments usually very informative.

    I’m all for a little trash talking but the threats to kick someone’s ass and things like that are silly. It’s difficult to ignore those morons when there are so many of them.

    Just my 2 cents!

  7. Tim Malcolm

    July 23, 2008 at 10:00 am

    Brian: I know it’s difficult to ignore the Mets trolls, but I can’t just delete them. It is an open forum. However, more intelligent conversation and Phillie-centric talk should help a lot. Keep coming back!

  8. Brian

    July 23, 2008 at 10:06 am

    Tim, thanks for the response.

    Intelligent conversation would be the best way to avoid those idiots. My hope would be that more of the Phillies fans on here wouldn’t get drug into the gutter with those morons.

  9. Don M

    July 23, 2008 at 10:15 am

    How about this for intelligent conversation.

    . . . WOW. . . what a game last night… The Phillies kept tacking on runs because I was upstairs emptying the wasterpaper baskets from the bedrooms and bathrooms (gotta love trash-night)… and instead of watching it on the high-def as I had been doing.. I kept watching it on the 19″ in the bedroom… you guys can thank me later for not leaving the room, not going back downstairs, not flipping around at commercials during all those pitching changes…

  10. PhillyGirlinMichigan

    July 23, 2008 at 10:27 am

    Good job by the Phil’s BP (Romero/Durbin) again – keeping it close after Blanton’s 5 runs. Mets fans can only envy…

  11. Mike W.

    July 23, 2008 at 10:35 am

    Ha I was thinking about some way to keep Mets posters off the board too, just not sure how it’s possible. They make commenting during games completely unenjoyable. So lame.

  12. Gavin

    July 23, 2008 at 10:42 am

    Hey Don M, I got muscle atrophy from not moving from my position in the chair that inning. Hey…. we do what we can right? 🙂

    Quick question to anyone out there, I live in SC, I got to watch the game last on the Extra Innings package on DirecTV that was having a free preview through tonight. Where was Harry last night? I never get to see the Phils home broadcast so I was fired up and then he wasnt there.

    The comments on this board get to the point where it is embarassing. When people start to make threats or start talking about banging a guys mom, it gets to the point where its not fun to read anymore. I’m all for bashing the players, but making personal threats and comments to actual people is insane and immature. Tim, is there anyway to block someone from posting if they start to make threats? I hope so.

    Lastly, it was nice going to bed and waking up this morning after that win, but remember the last time we beat Santana with Happ? The Mets won 10 straight and three in a row from us. Every game here needs to be treated like its game 7. I cant relax until this series is over. No one needs to be spouting off about how we are going to sweep this guys. Hell we got Myers going tonight. Nuff said.

  13. Soapy

    July 23, 2008 at 10:43 am

    I started ironing my shirt for work today at the beginning of the 9th. The Phils proceeded to get three hits, so naturally I kept ironing. I have shirts ready for the next week and a half.

    As happy as I am with the win, I’m still a little weary of how they played overall. Blanton was what I expected, average. And if Santana or Wagner was in there could’ve been a different ninth. I think they needed for many reasons, but mainly to get some balls back.

    I guess the main thing to take from this is how they build on it. It was a great comeback and hopefully they can get their bats rolling again. Then again, we all thought Myers would have his form back after that Florida game and look what happened…

  14. MS

    July 23, 2008 at 10:45 am

    i stand corrected from my statement last night. good win. great win.

    lets see which brett myers shows up tonight.

  15. Don M

    July 23, 2008 at 10:46 am

    Harry the K had something go wrong with one of his eyes and had to get emergency surgery or something… they said he might be back in the booth for the next homestand, but that was a few days ago when I heard that.

    A bunch of my buddies went to Coastal Carolina down by Myrtle Beach.. they all used to get the NFL sunday ticket, and they used to chip-in for the Baseball Package too… the good thing is that the Phillies are on ESPN and FOX a lot more than they used to be, but that might be a regional thing ..???

    How much are they charging for the baseball package for the 2nd half of the season?

  16. Geoff

    July 23, 2008 at 10:51 am

    he definitely had something wrong with his eyes because every fly ball was called as “long drive” for like most of the season.

  17. Gavin

    July 23, 2008 at 10:54 am

    Thanks Don M.

    I dont know. I havent checked. Since I dont get to watch them much I have gotten use to checking the scores. Its a million times less stressful for myself, my wife, my two kids, the dog, the neighbors, the police, etc. if I do that rather than watch them on the TV. If the Phillies play on National TV 30 times (including braves and cubs) then I go through 30 remote controls.

    I’ve always wanted to buy it, but I feel like it will jinx them if I do. No reason, other than I would hate to blow $100 some bucks on buying the package…..sit there in misery and watch them lose…..and then they dont make the playoffs…..or whatever. Its not logical, but thats the way I think.

    I guess it comes down to…..I’d rather them win and me miss it than they lose and I see it.

    Believe it or not down here my best friend on my street is a Mets fan. So needless to say, we dont sit down a whole lot to watch them play. 🙂

  18. NEPA

    July 23, 2008 at 10:57 am

    Haha Geoff.

    “Could it be?! Could it be?!”

    Yes, Harry, it could be if your referring to a routine pop fly to shallow left field to end the game. Thanks for getting everyone’s hopes up.

  19. Soapy

    July 23, 2008 at 10:58 am

    MLB TV isnt bad, you always get the home team’s broadcast. 15 a month for reasonable quality. It’s a great economic price for the college student. You just get blacked out if your in the area of the other team (I’m in NY so I watch SNY for games)

    But for the cable packages, I have no clue.

  20. Gavin

    July 23, 2008 at 11:01 am

    Poor Harry. He’s still my favorite no matter what. I wish he was on the radio more. Thats the only time I get to hear him. I can listen to 1210 down here on most nights and I have XM as well.

    My 3 year old son can imitate his HR call. In fact I’ve trained him…..when I say, “What does Harry say when Brett Myers is pitching?” and he says, “That ball is outtttta heeerre!!!”

  21. Geoff

    July 23, 2008 at 11:05 am


  22. Dice

    July 23, 2008 at 11:10 am

    This game was won because the pathetic ‘pitch count’ style of managing. Santana only threw 105, 106 pitches and they pulled him in the 9th… *sigh* Oh well a win’s a win

  23. Mike T.

    July 23, 2008 at 11:12 am

    Yo Dice, Santana wanted to come out – the pitch count thing is a cover.

  24. Gavin

    July 23, 2008 at 11:14 am

    This game was won and lost by defense and RP. The Phils were good on both ends the Mets were bad. Thats pretty much it.

  25. Don M

    July 23, 2008 at 11:15 am

    Santana is NASTY…… but last night was the least overpowering he’s been in his starts against us so far… he definitely looks hittable this year, as opposed to years past when people couldn’t touch anything he threw

  26. Don M

    July 23, 2008 at 11:17 am

    where is METSR#1 today telling us how great Reyes is.. that was a pretty good play he made at second base last night… and then they argued it.. when he wasn’t even close.. you could see it at full speed when it happened, that he didn’t get the bag

  27. Mike T.

    July 23, 2008 at 11:20 am

    Reyes’ face was priceless when he realized he didn’t even get one out.

  28. Mike T.

    July 23, 2008 at 11:21 am

    In fact, I’m going to grab a screen shot of that and post it on flikr. I’ll get you guys the link.

  29. TJ

    July 23, 2008 at 11:33 am

    I don’t think the Mets recover from this if we win the series.

  30. Rob E.

    July 23, 2008 at 11:33 am

    That would be awesome Mike. That is an epic fail.

  31. Mike T.

    July 23, 2008 at 11:40 am

  32. CZ

    July 23, 2008 at 11:50 am

    I was at the game last night and I can not even begin to explain how good it felt. The emotion shift in the majority of the fans was so palatable. I’m sure it was pretty clear on TV that the place went dead silent. Its funny because their fans reacted in exactly the same way us Phillies fans would. It was as if the second the Phills got a few guys on they were waiting for the implosion. I know I get that feeling of impending doom all the time so its good to know it isn’t exclusive to us. Overall the fan behavior was reasonable. Before the top of the 9th started Mets fans were vehemently gesturing the smattering of visiting fans to exit stage left and I’m glad I persevered and stayed.

    I think the most telling moment was when we were walking down the ramps to exit the very original Mets fans pulled out the old ‘Eagles Suck’ and ‘Congrats on 10,000 losses’ lines. All I could do was smile!!

  33. scot

    July 23, 2008 at 12:03 pm

    Awesome, Mike. The look on Reyes face was one thing. But that followed by the fact that none of his teamates were there to pick him up, thats when I knew the Phils had the game won. Before even the Taguchi at bat, before the Rollins at bat, the Mets already knew they were cooked.

  34. Bruce

    July 23, 2008 at 12:04 pm

    Just a few comments on last night’s game that seems so surreal. A dominant outing by Santana (“my most important game as a Met”) that was wasted by a bullpen without a closer (Wagner N/A). I read the expected commentaries by N.Y. writers concerning the questionable decision by the Mets’ manager in pulling Santana after an 105 pitch, 8 innings effort. Santana said he felt fine and and was ready to go in the 9th. In a game as important as this and a closer not available, Manuel inexplicably allowed the “pitch count” to take precedent over his $137.5 million ace’s desire to finish the game. The rest is history.

    I was quite giddy with how the the Phillies won without a single HR in that 6 run rally. Could we see more of that from the team…please? 😉

    What stand out in my mind in that 9th inning, is Victorino’s relentless hustle (his jet burners are always on throughout the game). After three
    straight hits, Ruiz reached on a fielder’s choice …thanks to Shane (who had been on first) when he outhustled shortstop Reyes to second avoiding the forceout. When Victorino clipped Reyes so that he could not make the relay throw to first, the Phils not only avoided the double play, but had the foundation for a big inning.

    I hope the Phillies take note of Victorino’s inspired play and use it as a role model for the remainder of the season.

    One other thought. “Joe Average” Blanton has an unusual delivery to the plate. He short-arms the pitch as if he were a shot putter. He does not get much elevation or “push-off” from his landing leg. I suppose he had that delivery throughout his career and doesn’t take away from his effectiveness. However, his control (3 walks) was not good last night and had several hittable hangers (breaking pitches) that Delgado and Castro took advantage for HRs.

    Tonight is Myers’ turn and I’m keeping my fingers crossed. Let’s go Phillies!

  35. lezgomets

    July 23, 2008 at 12:10 pm

    i never thought id say this but god, i wished wagner had pitched against the phillies

    a loss is a loss, were still only one game behinf, well get you guys later

  36. lezgomets

    July 23, 2008 at 12:11 pm

    that looks like a normal face too me, and that was before any runs scored, so before he botched the double play

  37. lezgomets

    July 23, 2008 at 12:13 pm

    cmon don m, snatana was great last night you cant deny that

  38. Mike T.

    July 23, 2008 at 12:18 pm

    lezgomets, that was after the botched play. And no, it is definitely not a normal face – that face explains the whole demise of the Mets.

  39. Don M

    July 23, 2008 at 12:52 pm

    He was great.. but the Phillies didn’t look as overmatched.. as though they are starting to figure him out more with each start against him.. way more pitches fould-off and taking close pitches . Maybe in their 4th game, they can manage a walk against him though, we’ll see

  40. Phil

    July 23, 2008 at 12:57 pm

    I’m putting that Reyes pic on my myspace.

  41. Mike W.

    July 23, 2008 at 1:04 pm

    I just went over to metsblog and checked out the comments for the first time. Specifically, their in-game blog like we have here. THERE WAS NOT ONE PHILLIES FAN in the mix making comments. Is this possible? Or would the website find some way to delete the phils fans’ comments? I’m not sure if it makes me proud or sad that we had no comments over there, but it does make the Mets fans coming over here extra pathetic.

  42. Mike T.

    July 23, 2008 at 1:16 pm

    Mike, is one of the worst websites on the internet – horrible web design and mediocre content. Personally, it makes me proud that there weren’t any Phils fans over there during the game. Like you said, it says a lot about the idiots that were posting here.

  43. christopher

    July 23, 2008 at 1:58 pm

    good call on victorino bruce, he had a huge game last night. his homerun can’t be overlooked either, as it really felt like the point the game went from “ah forget about this one” to “wait a sec, we’re still in this.”

    also, for all the people that love to quote jimmy rollins, here’s what he had to say after the game:

    “It’s one game,” Rollins said. “We went up one game. It’s a great way to do it, no doubt about that. It’s a great place to get it done, but we have to come out there tomorrow. We’ve been in a situation where we blew teams out, then turn around and lose seven in a row. We have to make sure that doesn’t happen.”

    what an immature douche! fuck him, right guys??

  44. Julie

    July 23, 2008 at 3:30 pm

    I love this picture. Ryan Howard looks like he’s saying “Yeahhh Doggg” whereas Johnny Wacko looks like he’s saying “Hey Buddy. Welcome to America.” All the while we have disgruntled fan drinking a Bud Light and a Coors Light. Really, guy? I bet you cheer for the Mets and the Yankees.

    Looking forward to seeing the game tonight. Although my rational side is fighting it, I really am trying to believe that Myers will have an amazing game tonight. Go Phils!

  45. TJ

    July 23, 2008 at 4:46 pm

    Chris, I’m not sure if you’re being serious or not but he’s right. Rollins can say what he wants as long as he comes through again.

  46. christopher

    July 23, 2008 at 5:14 pm

    that was sarcasm due to the ridiculous reaction to his throwaway quote after the marlins series. jimmy rollins is awesome.

    even with myers pitching i can’t wait for the game tonight. series like this are the reason i love baseball.

  47. TJ

    July 23, 2008 at 5:45 pm

    Thats what I thought but after that reaction, I was almost inclined to think it was happening again.

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