In the finale of a 4-game series with the Cubs, the Phillies got off to a hot start with 4 runs in the first inning. Having already lost 2 games in this series, it was imperative for this team to get going quickly. But after those 4 runs, the offense went to sleep again.
Vance Worley pitched 7 strong innings while the offense napped. He allowed only 1 run on 5 hits and 2 walks. The Phillies took the 4-1 lead into the 8th inning as the bullpen took over.
Sadly, no lead seems very safe with this team. Such was the case as Antonio Bastardo and Chad Qualls combined to blow the 3-run lead. Bastardo walked his second batter and Qualls gave up a single to score that run and then added a 2-run homer shortly after.
With the game then tied, the Phillies needed that sleeping offense to wake up. But the way things have been going lately, it seemed unlikely. It was going to take a small miracle…or at least a clutch hit.
When you find yourself cheering because the first batter of the inning, Juan Pierre, got hit by a pitch, you know things have not been going well. And when you begin to hope that maybe the pitcher will hit the next 3 batters so you can score a run, things have gone from bad to worse.
But instead of getting hit, the Phillies actually got a few hits. With 2 outs and Pierre on first, Jimmy Rollins singled to move Pierre to third. And then the real hero stepped to the plate and proved he has still got the bat to go with his glove. Placido Polanco smashed a double to left that scored both Pierre and Rollins. It was the first time this year that the Phillies were able to take a lead in their final at-bat.
The Phillies went on to a 6-4 victory, thanks to Polly’s timely hit. Even better, it does appear that Polanco is healthy again after 2 hernia issues the previous year.
Going back on the road against the Braves and Nationals, who are leading the division, it was important to start on a positive note. With any luck, the Phillies may be able to start digging themselves out of this hole and April’s losing record.
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Photoshopping by Jenn Zambri Photography