Jayson Werth ended an entertaining, roller coaster of a game with an RBI single in the 12th inning. The Phils secured a lead into the late innings, but couldn’t hold on, then fell behind, then came back, then got the W much later. If you followed, you probably got dizzy.
The Phils used almost every available player, cleaning out their bench and going deep into the bullpen. Rudy Seanez collected the win after a 1-2-3 12th. So Taguchi scored the game-winning run after a leadoff single. It’s about time Taguchi got involved in a win.
The important blow of the game was Shane Victorino’s triple into the right field corner, scoring Ryan Howard and Eric Bruntlett. Before the triple, Victorino attempted a bunt that landed foul. Probably not the right move. Still, Vic received an inside fastball from pitcher Tony Pena, which was exactly what the Flyin’ Hawaiian needed to do his business. The triple erased a two-run D-Backs lead, which they stole by hitting Kyle Kendrick, then RJ Swindle and Chad Durbin. They couldn’t solve Miguel Montero and Alex Ramirez, who keyed rallies to give the Backs three runs in the seventh and eighth innings. Maybe the most important play came when Ramirez was thrown out at third, trying to stretch his double (which Vic almost caught amazingly) into a triple. It ended the inning and kept the Phils within striking distance.
Then there was the play that gave the Phils a 3-1 lead: A Carlos Ruiz dummy steal that allowed Victorino to scamper home (Vic was everywhere in this game). Beauty in its execution: Arizona catcher Montero was excited to get Ruiz out at second and never looked at Vic; with Kendrick at the plate and two outs they didn’t rely on a pitcher to drive in a run; Ruiz retreated at just the right time to prolong the play and get Vic home. Those are the best plays of all.
Kendrick had his usual, Kendrickian start, going 6.1 while giving up four earned runs and scattering nine hits. And after the eighth, the Phils bullpen did a fine job, featuring Brad Lidge, Clay Condrey (in an increased role) and JC Romero.
Ryan Howard started the scoring with his league-leading 28th home run â€” and league-leading 84th RBI. That he (or Pat Burrell) isn’t on the All-Star team is kind of ridiculous, but I’ve said that before and we know it already. Other things we know by now: The Mets and Marlins both win, keeping in pace with the Phils.
Associated Press photo