Shane Victorino laced a single to right field, scoring Pedro Feliz with two outs in the ninth to beat the Mets 3-2. It was the Phils fourth straight win.
Vic’s single came after Feliz doubled with two outs in the ninth. It capped a game dominated by fine pitching and jerky offense.
The player of this game was clearly Chad “Dim the Lights” Durbin, who struck out six of the seven batters he faced in 2.1 innings. He struck out Carlos Beltran to end a bases loaded threat, then shut down the Mets for two more innings. To be blunt â€” Durbin was sensational. After the game I pondered whether Durbin was the most essential acquisition of the Phils offseason. So far I have no doubts.
Durbin saved the game for JA (James) Happ, who was pretty good in his 4.2 innings of work. He walked four, but a couple of those were debatable, especially the gift ball David Wright received in that crucial fifth inning. Besides that Happ worked his changeup effectively, wasn’t afraid to throw his fastball high and strong (hitting 91 and 92 when rearing back) and mixed his pitches well. He induced a lot of weak fly balls and strong grounders, not the best indicator of success, but outs are outs. He struck out three. He clearly deserves another start to show us more (I really think we’ll see some difference when he doesn’t face the Mets), and I look forward to it.
The Phils got two runs off Johan Santana in the sixth through singles. Ryan Howard and Pat Burrell nailed RBI singles, scoring Jayson Werth and Chase Utley with their hits. Once the Phils tied it the game became a battle of wits. Mets Manager Jerry Manuel decided to pull Santana after eight; bad move â€” Duaner Sanchez couldn’t get the job done. Meanwhile, Happ received wonderful backup from Durbin, Ryan Madson and Brad Lidge, who got the win. Yet again the Phils bullpen did its job.
A great win, to be sure. And it was the one we never thought they’d win. Kudos to the Phils. Though they looked like they were handing Santana the win early, they fought and made sure they won.
With the win the Phils are now a cool 3.5 games up on the NL East. Why? Because the Colorado Rockies made some history tonight.
Associated Press photo