So Taguchi finally came through with a HUGE 2-run double tonight in the ninth inning to tie the game and propel the Phillies to an 8-6 win over the NY Mets. Please pass the Valium…my heart won’t be still!
That was followed immediately by a J-Roll 2-run double and the Mets simply shook their heads and did a double-take as they could not believe what was happening. What looked like a game that was locked up since the 6th inning, had just been blown wide open.
It began with Joe Blanton’s Phillies debut, which frankly, was a bust. Blanton did not produce a quality start, going 6 innings and giving up 5 earned runs on 8 hits and 3 walks with one of those hits and one walk each being to the opposing pitcher. I liked his variety of off-speed pitches, but he was too easily rattled and unable to come up with a strike when he needed it. In the 6th inning, he walked Marlon Anderson on 4 pitches even though Marlon literally sat the bat on his shoulder for the last 2 pitches of the at bat and was clearly not going to swing; and still, Blanton could not find the strike zone. Next batter, 2-run home run – NOT good.
Defensively though, we saw some really amazing plays in the field tonight. Endy Chavez of the Mets was thrown out at home plate twice tonight – first by Pat Burrell via Jimmy Rollins to Carlos Ruiz in the 3rd and then, he was actually dumb enough to try it again later in the 7th inning when Jayson Werth nailed him on a one-hopper to Ruiz.
Also in the 7th, Chase Utley made a jumping / diving “Superman” mid-air grab of a line-drive off the bat Fernando Tatis for the 3rd out of the inning. As he ran off the field, Utley tore open his jersey to reveal the Superman logo hiding under his uniform to taunt the NY fans…J But we already knew that Utley was Superman…really, the secret has been out for some time now. Get with the program people! J
Back to planet Earth…the offense continued its struggles throughout most of the game, albeit against a red-hot Johan Santana. However, they were able to get at him right away in the first inning with back to back to back singles from Howard, Burrell and Werth, scoring a run; and all this with 2 outs. So, what happened after the first inning? Well, to sum it up for you, a whole lot of nothing. Shane Victorino did hit a solo homer, but sadly, that was not going to make up for the 5 runs the Mets put on the board. Then suddenly, no more Santana and a ninth inning explosion! So Taguchi comes to life, finally! This is a guy who hit over .400 as a pinch hitter last year for the Cardinals but had yet to nail one down for the Phillies, so it really was about time. Let’s hope the real SO has just stood up! This game should have lit a fire under the Phils…we could not have asked for a better vibe to go into Brett Myers’ start tomorrow. Go Phillies!