In his previous three starts, the Phillies had scored a grand total of just six runs for pitcher Cole Hamels. Tonight against the Rockies, the story was very much the same.
Hamels gave up a 2-run homer in the second inning, but nothing at all after that. He even worked his way out of a bases loaded, one out jam in the fifth. Hamels did all he could to keep his team in the game.
But once again, the offense offered Hamels little help. And they were facing a pitcher, Jhoulys Chacin, who had not won a single game in his previous seven starts. Still, the Phillies bats made Chacin look like a Cy Young award winner.
The Phillies managed to squeak out a run in the seventh on a Raul Ibanez double that scored Hunter Pence who ran the bases very well. Pence also struck out in the eighth inning with two men on base. But such was the theme of the night for the offense….at least through eighth innings.
In the ninth inning, something different happened. The Phils could not hit Chacin, but the Rockies closer Huston Street was another story. After a Carlos Ruiz double, John Mayberry Jr. was sent into to pinch hit. Mayberry, who has not played much lately, made up for lost time with a huge, game-tying 2-run homer.
With a 3-3 score, Antonio Bastardo held the Rockies down to send the game to extra innings for the second Phillies game in a row. Shane Victorino capitalized on the opportunity with a solo homer in the 10th to put the Phillies ahead, 4-3.
Ryan Madson earned the save in the 10th and Mayberry walked away a hero in this one. Just when it looked like hope was lost for the struggling Phillies offense, Mayberry put them back in the hunt for the win.
Speaking of hunters, Mr. Pence has played in 3 Phillies games and so far, they have all been wins. He must be wondering if he died and went to baseball heaven. To answer his question: Yes…welcome to Philly (aka: Baseball Heaven)!
Game two with the Rockies is Tuesday night at 8:40pm; Kyle Kendrick will pitch. It will likely be Kendrick’s last start as Roy Oswalt should be back from the DL very soon after two recent rehab starts.
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Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography