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.
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.
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.
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.