One More Time!

26 Jul

For the fourth straight day, the Phillies won a game in their last at-bat.

The last three were won with the same score, 7-6.

Jimmy Rollins had the winning walk-off hit in two of them.

The Phillies swept their first three-game series of the season and have won eight of their last 11 games.

If I didn’t know better I’d think we’d found a time wharp back to 2008!  Hey, isn’t that Pat Burrell over there?  (Actually it was.  Pat was here as a scout for the San Francisco Giants, checking out Phillies players for that anticipated fire sale at the Trade Deadline.)  Sorry Pat, not so fast.

Seriously, the Phillies recent resurgence does make Ruben Amaro’s Trade Deadline strategy a bit more complicated.  Even though it has been a wonderful week, the team is still in last place in the National League East, 14 games behind the Nationals and 9 1/2 games behind the NL Wild Card leaders.

But that’s a problem for another day.  Today, we celebrate what has been an amazing four-game run.  And it is no coincidence that it has all happened since the return of Chase Utley and Ryan Howard to the lineup.

Yesterday, Chase went 3-for-4 with two doubles and three RBIs.

And although Howard is still slowly regaining his form, just having him  in the cleanup spot has helped everyone hitting around him.

Of course, there’s J-Roll, who since the birth of his baby, has finally been earning that new contract.

And what more can be said about Chooch, who came in yesterday as a pinch hitter to drive in the tying run with a sacrifice fly.

 But as is always the case when a team starts winning, there are those unexpected contributors as well.

Guys like Eric Kratz,the 32-year-old minor-league lifer, playing for his hometown team after spending 10 years in the minors. And he’s not just playing; Kratz has been in the thick of the action.

On Monday Kratz belly-flopped home with the winning run after entering the game as a pinch runner.

Tuesday night he came off the bench and smacked a two-run pinch homer to spark the rally that brought the Phils all the way back from five runs down to win.

And on Wednesday, starting at catcher to give Carlos Ruiz a break, Kratz went 3 for 5 with a pair of doubles and an RBI single.  His biggest hit was the one-out double in the 10th that set up the Phillies’ fourth straight victory.

And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention oft-maligned Phillies starter turned reliever Kyle Kendrick.

Krazy K has pitched 20 1/3 scoreless innings out of the bullpen, quickly becoming Charlie’s most reliable option.  

He has not given up an earned run in the month of July.  (Not so crazy, huh.) 

So, all in all, It has been quite a week.  I can tell things have improved since for the first time all year, I wish the Phillies did not have a day off today.

By the way, I should mention that the Phillies also signed Cole Hamels.  Just in case you really were living in 2008 which is the only way you could have missed it.

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7 Responses to “One More Time!”

  1. Ron Cori July 26, 2012 at 1:03 pm #

    RAJ does have an issue. If not for the injuries and a HORRENDOUS bullpen, we’d be in the wild card hunt right now. What to do???

    • Michael Gillen July 26, 2012 at 2:21 pm #

      Well, they have made an adjustment of sorts in the bullpen, right, shifting a fair pitcher from rotation. Better late than never.

      • girlsbestphriend July 27, 2012 at 4:37 pm #

        Yep. Good old Kyle Kendrick. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see. At least there were some fun games to watch.

    • girlsbestphriend July 27, 2012 at 4:36 pm #

      Especially now! I think it’s all going to depend on the Atlanta and Washington series.

    • girlsbestphriend July 27, 2012 at 4:38 pm #

      Especially now! I think it’s all going to depend on the Atlanta and Washington series.

  2. Michael Gillen July 26, 2012 at 2:24 pm #

    Susan, what an enjoyable game that was (of course, it always helps to win), and they sure
    played up the “holiday in July” theme with Cole signing, didn’t they?

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