You know when the Phillies make the #1 spot on the Top Ten Plays of The Day on SportsCenter, it had to be a hell of a game! Generally, we are a team ignored by such a market. Jamie Moyer kept the game close through five innings, giving up only 2 earned runs and Chad Durbin did his usual part in getting him out of a jam. Our offense struggled yet again, but Tim Hudson looked very good through 7.2 and did not budge, although the strike zone all night, as called by Alfonso Marquez, was all over the place.
Right at the top of the ninth inning, it looked like the game was over when Chris Coste, with men on 1st and 2nd and 2 outs, popped up to second baseman, Kelly Johnson. But no, Johnson, in a lapse of concentration, drops the ball! Panic ensues, the crowd erupts, Feliz is tagged out at the plate and fans are screaming at the umpires wondering why the game is not over. What many had not realized is that Eric Bruntlett had been running so fast from 2nd base, he had already scored to tie the game before Feliz was tagged out and was even already in the dugout before anyone had noticed…that is how fast he was going! The thing I found most entertaining about that entire sequence was that it directly followed the incidence with Jimmy Rollins getting pulled from a game the day before for not hustling and not running out a pop fly, like he should have. In that same instance on Thursday, the defender dropped the ball as well and it cost Jimmy an extra base. So, Charlie Manuel made an example of him and benched him. The timing and the extra reminder by their manager could not have been better, because had all three guys involved in this pop fly by Coste last night not hustled, this game was over and the Phillies walk away with a loss instead of a win.
And to seal the victory, we were treated to an amazing throw and put out by Shane Victorino to nail Gregor Blanco at the plate for the final out of the game, which also prevented the tying run from scoring. And what a tag by Chris Coste, as if to atone for his pop-up that almost ended the game earlier in the 9th. The entire play was perfect. Kudos to Shane and Chris for getting it done and giving this team a HUGE lift on the road!
The Phillies are going to need a BIG effort tonight out of Kyle Kendrick as our bullpen is starting to show some wear, especially Brad Lidge. He NEEDS a break for sure. His last two appearances have been shaky and it is now only a matter of time before the defense is unable to bail him out if he is pushed beyond what we should expect of him. He should have a night off. Our offense waking back up would certainly be a huge help! Let’s get a giant lead and then let Condrey finish off a game…he could use some work! I like my plan J Go Phillies!