Four hours and five minutes plus a one hour and 18 minute rain delay, 12 innings, 104 plate appearances and 625 combined pitches between both teams. That’s what it took for the Phillies to win their seventh straight game in their 6-5 victory over the Florida Marlins.
Chase Utley opened the scoring in the first inning with a two run home run. However, Chris Coghlan responded with a solo shot off Cole Hamels, making it 2-1. Jayson Werth’s RBI single and Pedro Feliz’s RBI double in the fourth inning extended the Phillies lead by three.
The Marlins celebrated Christmas in July a week early, but they received Cole in their stockings. Hamels was cruising, but Santa brought Florida snow.
Hamels always seems to be the victim of a rain delay, and once again the rains forced both starters out of the game. Hamels gave up one earned run over five innings. He allowed four hits, one walk, and he struck out five. Ricky Nolasco allowed four earned runs on seven hits in six innings.
After the tarp was removed and play resumed, it didn’t take long for the Marlins to tie it up. In the bottom of the seventh, Ross Gload and Ronny Paulino’s RBI singles made it 4-3.
Former Phillies that struggled in their stint with the Phils seem to go wild when they face their former club. First it was Rod Barajas with the Blue Jays, then Paulino with a big single, and now it was Wes Helms’ turn. Helms’ RBI single tied the game at four, and another run did not cross the plate until the top of the twelfth.
Both teams had several opportunities to score. After what appeared to be a balk, Carlos Ruiz was caught between third and home trying to score on Jimmy Rollins’ fielders choice. Chad Durbin escaped a jam with two on and nobody out. Later, Jorge Cantu grounded into a huge double play. Overall, the Phillies left ten men on base. The Marlins left 13 and were 3-for-12 with runners in scoring position.
It felt like a decade since Utley homered, but in the bottom of the twelfth, he put us all to bed with a single that scored Jimmy Rollins. Jayson Werth added insurance with a RBI single of own. The Phillies took a 6-4 lead.
Despite allowing a run to score and the tying run to reach third, Brad Lidge converted his 19th save of the year.
The Phillies and Marlins gave the 22,891 fans in attendance a thriller. A lengthy game resulted in a loss of sleep, but thanks to Chase Utley, watching the Phillies was worth the late night. A long wait for Santa to come, but the perfect Christmas present: a Phillies win.