Instead of coal in their stockings, the Phillies received a 3-game sweep of the Marlins for their Christmas in July celebration today. Considering they started the second half of the season as the worst team in baseball, this is nothing short of a miracle. Please wake me if I am dreaming…
It looked like a sure win today early on as the Phils exploded for 5 runs in the second inning. There was a lot of staring at home runs (Ryan Howard and Freddy Galvis) and celebrating. Even Cole Hamels had a hit in the inning.
But the warm fuzzies wore off quickly as Hamels bombed in the 3rd inning. The fielders were awfully busy while Hamels struggled to get by.
Ultimately, Hamels took the 3-run lead the Phillies spotted him and handed those runs right back to the Marlins. By the end of the inning, Hamels had 76 pitches and would not return to the game.
In his defense, it was hotter than hell today. The temperature was 93 degrees at game time and got hotter as the game went on. It even looked for a minute like we may lose the home plate umpire, who needed assistance getting cool.
So it would take 5 bullpen arms to finish the game after Hamels’ early exit. Both Elvis Araujo and Luis Garcia pitched perfect innings.
But then Ken Giles blew a save in the 8th inning, where the Marlins took a 7-6 lead. Giles was all over the place which sent many of the few fans in attendance streaming towards the exits, myself included. I was melting by then and not sure if I’d make it to the car if I stayed much longer anyway.
But luckily for the Phillies, Jeff Francour decided to play Santa Claus today and unwrap a 2-run walk-off home run in the bottom of the 9th inning to give the Phillies an 8-7 win. I enjoyed the hit from the comfort of my air-conditioned car, which made finding the energy to celebrate a bit easier 😉
The Phillies take on the Rays tomorrow. Game time is 7:05pm.
Here is the full Photo Album from today’s game.