2012 Game Recaps

Phillies Sweep Rockies and are 2 games below .500

Mayberry celebrates his walk-off (AP)

Yea, it’s ok to get excited tonight, Phillies fans. It was a gorgeous and glorious day at the ballpark as the Phillies swept the doubleheader and series against the visiting Colorado Rockies (3-2 and 7-4). The Phillies now sit 6 games back in the Wild Card and just 2 games below .500 with 22 to play. It would be an understatement to say the Phillies are playing better since All-Star break; they are 12-4 in their last 16 games.

The regularly scheduled game one featured a John Mayberry, Jr. walk-off single, while last night’s makeup game saw the Phillies grind out a 7-4 win – both were comebacks. Game two also witnessed the return of Carlos Ruiz who had been sidelined since August 2nd with a left-foot injury. He picked up right where he left off with two hits and an RBI in two at bats. Jonathan Papelbon deserves some praise as well after picking up two wins and a save this weekend.

Game One

John Mayberry, Jr. clinched game one with a based loaded walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth. The game winning hit was almost caught by a diving Carlos Gonzalez and fans along with the umpires had to wait to see the ball ultimately roll beneath the Rockies left-fielder to realize the Phillies’ win.

The Phils were also aided by a few other dropped balls, passed balls namely, by Rockies catcher Wilin Rosario. He had four passed balls in the game, with two of them coming in the ninth to help the Phillies complete the comeback.

The Rockies started the scoring in the second with two runs off four singles. After that though, Cole Hamels shut them down allowing just one hit and one walk until he was relieved by Antonio Bastardo in the eighth. He ended the afternoon with 7 IP, 2 ER, 5 H, 6 K, 1 BB and lowered his ERA to 3.03. Bastardo allowed a hit but recorded two strikeouts before yielding to Phillipe Aumont who finished off the inning. Jonathan Paplebon pitched the ninth to record the win, improving his record to 5-6.

The bulk of the Phillies runs came in the third after Cole Hamels led off the inning with a walk. Chase Utley followed with a single and Ryan Howard knocked them both in with a double. They had a chance to take the lead in the eighth when they loaded the bases with two outs but Ty Wiggington flied out to center.

Game Two

Tyler Cloyd, making just his third major league appearance, started game two but could only muster 4 innings. Colorado managed 8 hits in that time including a Chris Nelson three-run bomb in the third (he made up for it with 2 errors on the night). Fortunately, the Phils’ bullpen pitched lights out with 6 pitchers finishing off the game, including Aumont and Papelbon who threw in both games today.

Offensively, the Fightins had to claw back after relinquishing their early 1-0 lead, garnered by a Michael Martinez RBI single. He was 2-4 with 2 runs and the RBI, raising his average to a still less-than-respectable .149. The rest of the lineup picked it up in the fifth as Ryan Howard plated 2 on what looked to be another RBI double, but he was thrown out at second. Ty Wigginton led off the sixth by smacking the first pitch over the fence and was followed later by a Kevin Fransden RBI infield single. The sixth was also when Carlos Ruiz returned to a standing ovation as he pinch hit for rookie backup Steven Lerud. This was the inning in which as few more Phillies fans started believing again. The Phils tacked on two in the seventh to cruise to a 7-4 win.

Game Notes

Cliff Lee came in as a pinch runner in the sixth inning of game two…In game one, Ryan Howard clobbered Chris Nelson as he fielded an errant throw by JRoll…Cole Hamels has recorded a no decision in his last 3 appearances as he seeks his career high 15th win…The Phillies promoted power-hitting prospect Darin Ruf after Reading was eliminated from the Eastern League playoffs…The Phillies homestand continues with 3 games versus Miami. Probables are Kendrick vs. LeBlanc, Halladay vs. Eovaldi and Lee vs. Johnson for the 4:05 Wednesday start.

Click to comment


  1. Brooks

    September 9, 2012 at 10:35 pm

    was at the Phillies game tonight, Phils offense could have scored 20 runs – 5 errors by the Rox, bases loaded at least 3 times

  2. Andrew from Waldorf

    September 9, 2012 at 10:51 pm

    Brooks our good luck charm.

    Have some Jamesons Brooks.

  3. Connor

    September 9, 2012 at 11:18 pm

    Still believing! Come on Phillies!

  4. Ryne Duren

    September 9, 2012 at 11:23 pm

    we need to sweep the fish guys!

  5. Bruce

    September 10, 2012 at 12:31 am

    “Excited”? The realist in me says the better word would be satisfied. I’m satisfied and encouraged that the Phillies are playing more to their capability after their futile effort of the first 80-90 games of the season. With the return of a healthy Utley and Howard, the line-up received more respect and caution from opposing pitchers. That shows in their most recent offensive upswing (12 wins out of the last 16 games played).

    Utley got 3 hits today and Howard, the RBI machine, added 2 more to bring his total to 40. And I’m glad to see Brian Michael acknowledged that “Jonathan Papelbon deserves some praise as well after picking up two wins and a save this weekend”.

    All the Phillies need now is just to win 12 of the last 22 games to avoid a losing record and
    finish the season on a positive note and a brighter outlook for next season.

    Sidenote: with the promotion of Darin Ruf to the Phillies, we could see him in the next game against Miami. Now that sounds “exciting”. 🙂

    • schmenkman

      September 10, 2012 at 6:42 am

      It’s true that they’ve been scoring more recently (4.38 per game in those last 16), but the real difference has been the 2nd fewest runs allowed in the NL (3.13 per game).

      Their surge since the ASB is also mostly due to pitching better. They’re actually scoring a little less, but also giving up much less:

      Runs scored
      87 games before ASB: 4.23 per game
      53 games since ASB: 4.08 (.15 worse)

      Runs allowed
      before ASB: 4.55 per game
      since ASB: 3.77 (.78 better) – 2nd best in the NL

      Scoring your 3rd run in the bottom of the 9th when you’re trailing 5-2 isn’t very exciting.
      Scoring your 3rd run in the bottom of the 9th when you’ve only given up 2 is a different story.

    • Ken Bland

      September 10, 2012 at 7:11 am

      “All the Phillies need now is just to win 12 of the last 22 games to avoid a losing record and
      finish the season on a positive note and a brighter outlook for next season.”

      Aw, yo, Bruce. C’mon, now. I get caution, but that’s so cautious.

      Topping .500 isn’t going to make for a brighter outlook. They’ve already done enough to slip into a positive psyche with their 2nd half play. We, as fans, might need to see strong finishes by Mayberry and Kendrick types to be further convinced they can continue playing well, but that doesn’t correlate with a team achievement of .500.

      What they might need is to get even closer, and the thought of living through this burns my ass, but get eeked out by just enough to wake them up in November at 4 AM thinking about select Atlanta games that cost them the 1 or 2 games that separated them from a post season. Make them hungry for ’13. I say go after it, and if you fall back to that, so be it. But .500? Maybe a consolation goal for the last week of the year if things don’t go well the next 2 weeks.

      Win bleeping out. The only way to think.

  6. Andrew from Waldorf

    September 10, 2012 at 12:40 am

    The Phillies can lose 3 of the last 22.

    The 3 losses can be whenever.

    But that is the margin of error.

    @ Bruce there is no award for being over .500

    But there is one for the playoffs.

    Its called October.

  7. schmenkman

    September 10, 2012 at 7:13 am

    The Phillies have won 15 of their last 21 –all 6 losses were either by one run or in extra innings.

    Also, before anyone assumes the Marlins will be easy, this is the team that just took 2 of 3 from Washington, including an 8-0 drubbing yesterday.

  8. Ken Bland

    September 10, 2012 at 7:32 am

    “Also, before anyone assumes the Marlins will be easy, this is the team that just took 2 of 3 from Washington, including an 8-0 drubbing yesterday”

    While that’s true, and the Phils are not so good under most any circumstance where they still can beat themselves, one nice thing about yesterday was Nolasco got out of the way. And this is perhaps groping, but Davey suggested Saturday after Stras’s poor start that he was effected by the oft discussed early season exit, and maybe the club had a hangover from the drama as well. But no, the Fish won’t be easy. This 13 game stretch against clubs under sea level looked easier a week or so back when it was in the future than now that it’s here and the direct challenge. But hard or easy, it’s a winnable lot. Just have to do it. And get beaucoup help.

  9. Chuck A.

    September 10, 2012 at 8:09 am

    Need a MINIMUM of 17-5 to even come close to pulling this out. And that’s being really hopeful that STL and LAD just sort of flounder at somewhere below .500 the rest of the way which probably won’t happen. Realistically, they need to win 19 to have any shot.

    And I am in the camp that says that topping .500 WILL make for a brighter outlook. Psychologically, it is huge for this team to crack that as they head into the off-season. I mean, think about it….they were 14 games below .500 on July 14th. To play like they have after purging their lineup at the end of July is amazing really. In fact, to me, it’s almost as impressive …maybe more impressive… than winning 102 games last year.

  10. Hot dog

    September 10, 2012 at 9:20 am

    How about the bullpen doing better. Aumont looks like he can be very good and Charlie actually managing an inning by playing matchups.

  11. George

    September 10, 2012 at 9:42 am

    It seems to me that the lineup wasn’t exactly “purged.” I’d call it more like “getting rid of some dead wood.” Victorino hadn’t exactly been tearing up the league’s pitching, and Pence was as detrimental on defense as he was slightly better than average on offense. Blanton was an inconsistent pitcher, and wasn’t part of the regular lineup. One always wonders when a team improves after trading certain people and installing no-names in their places if some of the improvement has to do with team chemistry. But much of the improvement is likely due to other teams’ unfamiliarity with the newer players.

    Finishing .500 is somewhat positive, but I don’t think it makes for any brighter outlook. Some of these guys are still huge question marks for 2012. Performing well at the end of this season may only lead to misplaced optimism that guys like Frandsen, Schierholtz or Brown can do it as regulars in a full season.

    • Chuck A.

      September 10, 2012 at 11:53 am

      1) Maybe “purged” wasn’t the exact best choice for a word but I think you know what I meant.

      2) Finishing .500 or better is more than somewhat positive. I think that threshold is more important in how a team feels than you may think.

      3) I don’t think there is any “misplaced optimism” at all concerning Frandsen, Schierholtz or Brown. They will be given a chance to make the team and maybe they make it maybe they don’t. There are lots of questions and concerns that need to be addressed this off-season….a busy one for sure.

      • Lefty

        September 10, 2012 at 12:57 pm

        I’ve thought about what you asked yesterday Chuck. My answer is I’m most happy if the team is in a pennant race. You can’t say that about last year or this year so I’m kind of stuck in neutral. I can’t rate the last two months of this season over last year because that was the first time I can remember being completely relaxed throughout an entire season, and that was pretty cool. But I can’t rate that over this year because this is kind of cool. Sorry, I’m kind of stuck on the fence on this, you know it’s not my usual answer. I like the rush of a pennant race best.

      • Lefty

        September 10, 2012 at 12:59 pm

        Oh shoot, I meant to put this under your comment above, not this one. Doh!

      • George

        September 10, 2012 at 1:54 pm

        .500 is only somewhat positive for a team which was expected to contend.

        As far as “misplaced optimism,” I doubt myself that it will be much of a factor, but it might be. If too much confidence is placed in these players, the team may pursue other options less aggressively. That sort of thing happened this year when it was assumed that Mayberry would be fine as a regular, and that Polanco would return to health. It was also assumed that Utley would start the season in April, so a rookie SS ended up playing second. The front office is trying to cut spending, and I hope that they don’t just go for “cheap” and allow players who have only been part-timers to take over the lineup. They’ll need other options to compare these guys to when they’re “given a chance.”

      • Chuck A.

        September 10, 2012 at 2:14 pm

        Lefty, no worries. I got what you said. Thanks.

  12. Big Mike

    September 10, 2012 at 12:39 pm

    Well, after being at last night’s game, I couldn’t help but do a little analysis and try to figure out what are the chances are of making it to the last wildcard spot. Here’s where I end up, based on each team’s remaining schedule, and the strength of each of their remaining opponents.

    Ranked from the most likely to the least likely for the teams that are still in it (through Arizona). Also, their projected PCT, and the final number of games behind they finish for the season in the WC race

    1. LA Dodgers, .549, —
    2. Arizona, .543, 1
    3. St. Louis, .537, 2
    4. Pittsburgh, .525, 4
    5. Phillies, .506, 7
    6. Milwaukee, .481, 11

    Wish it looked better for the Phils, but the schedule doesn’t favor them the way it does some of the others (LAD, ARZ in particular).

    Any hope? Sure, going 20-2 for the remainder of the season, while counting on the Nats, Reds, and Braves to destroy everyone else they play. Could happen, right? Here’s to hoping I’m really wrong 😉

  13. Lefty

    September 10, 2012 at 12:51 pm

    if the elimination number is 17 ( yes we lost one yesterday despite winning a doubleheader!) and there are 22 games left. They could go 22-0 and still be eliminated with 4 days left in the season.

    Seriously folks, come on now, let’s get real here. 15-7 would make me very happy going into the offseason.

    • Big Mike

      September 10, 2012 at 2:25 pm

      Hey Lefty, if you could GUARANTEE 22-0, I’d bet everything that they finish at least 2 games up above the 3rd place WC team. In the “real world” 15-7 would be great. I have them going 13-9 to finish the season and hence, not in the hunt. Won’t stop me from watching every game however.

  14. Andrew from Waldorf

    September 10, 2012 at 4:11 pm

    I hate haters.

    Lefty and Big mike you are not invited to the parade.

    You can stay at home and post on phillies nation when it is happening.

    Me and Chuck and Kenny baseball will be there.

    • Ken Bland

      September 10, 2012 at 6:38 pm

      Thank you for RSVPing for me, Andrew.

      I’ve never been to a parade with 3 people.

      I’ve perhaps been to parades that SHOULD have had 3 attendees.

      In about 15 minutes, we continue working toward a larger guest list..

      Bring it on!

      Lefty is such a damned realist.

      Big Mike says 7 back? Zone must play an easy schedule. Milwaukee must not play Houston. My feeling on guessing by advanced schedules is it’s tough. My history shows if I guess by the opposite, I do better. We’ll see how it shakes out, but it feels good to at least be on the peripheral of the peripheral. For now.

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