Did That Really Happen?

25 Jul

My son was watching last night’s game in the kitchen while my husband and I were watching in the den.  Why am I telling you this?  Because for some reason, the kitchen’s tv signal is several seconds ahead of the den meaning that my son was seeing the action before we were.  So my favorite part of last night’s eighth inning was hearing yet another shriek coming from the kitchen signaling to my husband and I that we were about to see something great.  When Chooch hit his game tying double my son ran into the den jumping up and down and screaming so he could watch it again with us.  Then we were all jumping up and down and screaming as if we had just won the World Series.

It was just that kind of game.  One of those games that defies reality.

For instance,

If I told you that Cliff Lee would allow four home runs and give up a career high 12 hits…

Or that Brewers starter Zack Greinke would dominate the Phillies, giving up just one run on three hits in seven innings…

Or that the Phillies would be down  by five runs heading into the eighth…

You would surely have written this game off.

After all, this has not been a Phillies team known for its late inning heroics.  Until now.  These are just some of the improbable highlights from last night’s “you had to see it to believe it” eighth inning.

Eric Kratz started it all off with a first-pitch, pinch-hit, two-run home run.  Kratz has had three hits all year, all of them home runs.

After Brewers starter Greinke didn’t issue a single walk in seven innings the  Phillies worked four walks in the eighth.

Carlos “MVP” Ruiz hit a bases loaded double to tie the game.  Did you know that Chooch leads the league in RBI’s after the seventh inning?

And Hunter Pence, whose plate coverage is freakish, somehow got his bat on a ball at least six inches wide of the plate, hitting a bloop single to give the Phillies a 7-6 lead.

Four of those runs came with two outs.

So for the third straight night, the Phillies won a game in their last at-bat.  A game where the odds were clearly not in their favor.

They will have to continue defying those odds if this is to be more than just a fun stretch of late-inning comebacks in the middle of an otherwise dismal season.  In fact, they would need to win just about every series and probably sweep a couple to find themselves in contention come September.  But after the last three nights?  Nothing is impossible.

I’ll leave the final word to my son.  After we had all calmed down a bit and watched Jonathan Papelbon, firing pitches clocked at 96 mph, throw a 1-2-3 ninth, he looked at us with a smile and said:

“Now that’s why I love baseball.”

I couldn’t have said it better myself.

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