The regular season is over for the Phillies and they closed it out with a win against the Marlins for a final season record of 93-69. And as usual, it was not without high drama; oh, and extra innings too. If we have learned anything over the years, it is that the Phillies do nothing the easy way.
Most of the bench players and rookies got some time in today to make their final bid for a post-season roster spot. Miguel Cairo made his case, going 2 for 4 with 1 RBI and a triple that tied up the game when he scored after a throwing error by the Fish. Ben Francisco went 2 for 3 with an RBI and a walk, however, he was picked off trying to steal THREE times. No kidding. Another thing we learned today? Francisco is not allowed to attempt a steal…ever.
The pitching was a bit trickier. JA Happ was only allowed to pitch 2 innings to save his arm for the post-season. Sadly, he allowed 2 runs in the 1st inning which bumped his ERA up to 2.93 for the season. Still, that and his 12 wins were an amazing feat for the rookie.
Kyle Kendrick may have pitched his way off the roster as he allowed 3 runs in 2 2/3 innings. The lefty Sergio Escalona looked a little shaky too as he allowed a runner to score, although it was charged to Brett Myers.
But the real drama unfolded in the 10th inning. Jayson Werth stepped to the plate with a runner in scoring position and 1 RBI needed to reach 100 for the season. In a shallow and classless act, the Marlins manager intentionally walked Werth, taking away any shot he had at the milestone. This game was meaningless to both teams, except for possibly a moral victory. The Marlins had nothing to gain or lose. In that case, an intentional walk is uncalled for and ruins the spirit of competition.
Add to that, the Marlins pitcher who was told to walk Werth was Dan Meyer, a Philadelphia-area native who grew up in a nearby town, rooting for the Phillies. He likely had tons of friends and family there to watch him, and what did they get to see? Their hometown hero boo’ed mercilessly by an upset crowd who wanted to see the game played out the way it was meant to. Poor Meyer! This kid did not deserve to be put in that position. Manager Fredi Gonzalez, you should be ashamed of yourself!
So Werth went without the 100 RBI mark, but the Phillies ended on a positive note. Some guy named Paul who?…I mean, Paul Hoover, the 3rd catcher who spent the whole year in the minors, got the winning, walk-off infield single to score John Mayberry Jr. and end the game with a final score of 7-6. The crowd exploded and the Phillies pummeled Hoover in adulation.
Afterwards, the players ran around the field tossing balls and t-shirts to the crowd in thanks for their support. Shane Victorino threw a ball all the way to the upper deck, into the broadcast booth and announcer, Tom McCarthy caught it on the fly.
The celebration is over now and the real work begins. The Phillies will take on the Rockies Wednesday; game time has been announced and it is 2:37pm…yuck! Hey, thanks again MLB…right in the middle of the day while most normal people are at work. Just sayin’.
Here is the Photo Album from today’s game. Go Phillies!
Photos by Jenn