Friday night’s Phillies – Braves game was a little uncomfortable to watch through the first 5 innings as ace pitcher Roy Halladay struggled. Sweaty and red in the face, Halladay looked like he might pass out more than a few times. He gave up 4 runs on 2 homers and 4 walks before being pulled after 4 2/3 innings.
Catcher Erik Kratz did everything humanly possible to help the ailing Halladay, including taking what looked like a heavy-weight title knock-out shot at the plate from Chipper Jones in the 4th inning:
John Mayberry Jr. made a great, on-target throw and, amazingly, Kratz held onto the ball. It was an unbelievable play…but neither Kratz nor Mayberry were done impressing everyone yet.
Down 4-5 going into the 9th inning, the Phillies were going to need a small miracle to get to Braves star closer Craig Kimbrel. But Kratz was again up to the challenge as he took Kimbrel’s fastball deep to left to tie up the game.
That home run sent the game into extra innings where Mayberry stepped in once more to help the Phillies win. Kevin Fransden provided the first spark, staring the 10th off with a single. Later that inning, Mayberry saw one pitch and sent in into the seats for a 3-run homer, handing the Phillies an 8-5 lead.
Closer Jonathan Papelbon nailed down the save, which was the 250th save of his career and 31st this season. The Phillies now sit 8 games out of the Wild Card race. Not that the playoffs are a real possibility at this point, but just thought I would mention it. At the very least, they should aim to make life more difficult for the Braves. Game time today is 4:05pm.