If you thought last night was vintage Phils, then this is what keeps you coming back. Another incredible victory by a team that does not give up – not when players are hurt, not when your starter coughs up 3 runs in the first, and certainly not when facing an 8-run deficit with just 6 outs remaining. This was an awesome game!
Much to everyone’s dismay, it began with Joe Blanton pitching the Phillies into a 3-0 hole before they even came to bat. He settled down as the game advanced before leaving with 2 outs in the fifth and finished with 4 ER, 8 H, 4 BB, 3 K plus an RBI. Still the tone for the first 7.5 innings were set by that initial one. The Dodgers held the lead 9-2 heading into the bottom of the eighth. Then the real game began.
The Phillies batted around. Single. Single. Wild Pitch. Balk. Double. Ground out. Single. Fly out. Walk. Ground out. And just like that the game was 9-6 and the team was within striking distance. Danys Baez pitched the top of the ninth and was able to get Scott Podsednik to ground into a double play to take command of the inning. As the game headed into the bottom of the ninth Welcome to Jungle blared like it was the final face-off of a close Flyers game. Fans were rowdy and believing.
On the mound was a familiar antagonist, Jonathan Broxton. I doubt his number is listed in the phone book, but the Phillies certainly have it…and probably on speed dial. The Phils lineup locked in on his fastball and slider and held off the balls – well, except for the one that hit Placido Polanco to start off the inning. Mike Sweeney and Jayson Werth followed up with walks to load the bases. This prompted Joe Torre to visit the mound and ask Broxton, “Do you trust your stuff?” An affirmative answer kept him in the game. Then Ben Francisco knocked a grounder to left side of the infield that bounced straight through third-baseman Casey Blake’s legs. Two runs scored and the Phils were down just a run with runners on first and second, and no outs for Carlos Ruiz. In the post-game interview Chooch said he knew he was getting a slider, and since he’s a superb catcher, I certainly believe him. He smacked the pitch off the left-centerfield wall to score Werth and Francisco. The Phillies walked off with a valiant 10-9 come-from-behind victory.
With the Braves off tonight, the Phillies creep to just 2 games back in the NL East.
Notes… Shane Victorino walked and stole second in as a pinch hitter in the seventh inning.