Philadelphia Phillies Walk-off Win: Part 1

12 May

A two-part blog?  Why, you ask?  And do I have to wait until tomorrow for Part 2?

Let me answer those questions (all good ones) one at a time.  For me, there were two completely different stories going on in last night’s game so I thought the best way to tell them was in two parts.  I’ve also never done that before and thought I should give it a try.

And NO, you DO NOT have to wait till tomorrow.  Both parts will be right here, right now.  So grab your coffee and get reading.

PART 1   

(See above if after my lengthy preamble, you already forgot the title.  If so, you better have another cup of coffee.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                  

For seven innings, I truly did not think the Phillies were going to win the game last night.  I’ll admit it.  Yes, they are a team that has been known to come from behind, but not last night.  Frankly, they just looked beat.  These are just some of the reasons I thought,

It just wasn’t going to be their night.

Cliff Lee (playing the role of this year’s Cole Hamels) went another 7 innings before he saw a run scored on his behalf.  The Phillies hadn’t scored a run for him in 27 innings before that!

Then they finally had a scoring chance in the 5th when Lee (taking matters into his own hands) hit a single that would have definitely score Brian Schneider from second.  But when he pulled his left hamstring rounding third and had to retreat to the bag I thought,

It just wasn’t going to be their night.

Because this game felt just like the game before when Roy Halladay actually out-pitched Josh Johnson but still got the loss.  Because the Phillies again just couldn’t get that one key hit when they needed it I thought,

It just wasn’t going to be their night.

When Kyle Kendrick came in to pitch the 8th and immediately got into trouble I knew,

It just wasn’t going to be their night.

And that’s right about when I started writing this entry.  You can’t win if you can’t score, right?  And for seven innings last night (and but for a Ryan Howard solo blast, 9 more innings the night before) they just weren’t scoring.

But then, just like that, the game changed and so did my post.

Part 2     EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED             

(See I promised you wouldn’t have to wait for Part 2)        

                                                                                   

If I should know anything by now, it’s that anything can happen in baseball and often does.  That’s one of the things I love about this sport.  There’s no clock ticking down the minutes at the end of a game.  Time can’t run out on a team determined to come back.

And that’s what happened last night.

If anyone would have told you that pitcher Kyle Kendrick (not in the starting rotation and just barely in the bullpen when the season started) would get his second! win in the last five days no one would’ve believed it,

But that’s what happened last night.

Dane Sardinha, the Phils back-up to the back-up catcher singled to start the 9th.  And Pete Orr, who had been hitting .160 in his last nine games, then hit his second double of the night moving runners to second and third. Come on, Sardinha and Orr leading the rally?  You’ve got to be kidding.  Who the heck are these guys?

But that’s what happened last night.

And then my favorite moment.  But before we get there we have to take a quick look back at Tuesday night’s game when a rare Jimmy Rollins throwing error in the 8th cost his team a win.  To Jimmy’s credit, he owned up:

“Maybe I held on [to the ball] too long.  But when you have to make a throw, you have to make the throw.  A good throw, he’s out.  I just didn’t make the throw.”

Back to last night.  It was the 9th inning, two outs, runners on second and third in a tie game, a game in which the Phillies had never held the lead.  Who strides to the plate?

Jimmy Rollins, of course.

And costing his team the win the night before and not having had much success in this game no longer mattered.

Because on this night, in this moment, J-Roll came through with a clutch two-out single scoring two runs to give the Phils the victory and a big series win over the second-place Marlins.

That’s what I call redemption.  Unlikely?  Maybe.

But that’s what happened last night.

As for me, I learned two things last night.

The first?

“It ain’t over ’til it’s over.”             Yogi Berra

And the second?

I really should listen to Yogi the next time I try to write my post BEFORE THE GAME IS OVER!!!






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