Walk-Off Win, the Sequel

24 Jul

OK. full disclosure, I did not think there was any way the Phillies were going to win that game last night.  Roy Halladay was clearly not at his best and the rest of the team looked a bit shell-shocked by their suddenly very hittable ace, falling into the all-too familiar pattern of scoring early and then shutting it down.  Yep, it looked like just the latest chapter in this, “how are they going to lose this one?,” season.

But something happened in the ninth inning last night that we have not seen for a loooong time!  In fact, the Phillies were 0-42 this season when trailing after eight innings. 0-42!  But not anymore.  And in case you woke up expecting to read about another Phillies loss (come on, I know you’re out there) or even attended last night’s game and were part of the mass exodus after the eighth inning, here are some Phillies Phacts you might have missed.

For the first time since their return from injuries, Chase Utley and Ryan Howard both started their fourth consecutive games in as many days and they both played huge roles in their team’s comeback.  Utley and Howard drilled back-to-back homers in the first inning.  It was the second time in three days that they both homered in the same game.  And in the ninth, Utley worked a key walk and Howard hit a clutch two-run single in the Phillies game-winning four run rally.  (Kind of makes you wonder what this season might have been like if the Fightins’ had both of them from the start.)

A bullpen that has struggled all season, came up big for the second day in a row with Michael Schwimer, Jake Diekman and Joe Savery combining to  keep the Brewers hitless for the final three innings.

Joe Savery earned his first major-league win. Before last night, he had appeared in 17 games, all resulting in Phillies losses.  So what did he have to say  about finally notching his first W?

“It was an emotional moment.  I’ve been bad way more than I’ve been good, so I really feel like I’m going to savor this moment-no pun intended.” 

Oh no, he didn’t!

The run that gave Savery that ‘win to savor ‘was driven in on a sacrifice fly by Ty WiggintonWigginton, who had been mired in an 0-16 slump hit a ball into left just deep enough to score the pinch runner who had replaced Ryan Howard at third.

And what speedster had Charlie Manuel used to seal that go-ahead run?  Why, none other than third string catcher Erik Kratz.  The bulky 6-4 Kratz is not often used in this role and Ryan Howard actually threw up his arms when he saw Kratz jog onto the field to take his place at third.

Seconds later, Kratz belly-flopped into home (kids, don’t try that at home) with the game’s winning run and Howard had a good laugh about it later while admitting that it was the right move.

Post game laughter in this clubhouse has been an all too rare occurrence this season.  Let’s hope Lee can provide a little more levity tonight.

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