Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Phillies Refuse to Quit

Wow. What a game! I have to admit I thought they wouldn't be able to dig themselves out of the hole they were in after the top of the 4th inning. 7-0. Wow. But it was early and the offense and pitching - when clicking on all cylinders - is capable of making up and holding the opponent to 7 runs. It happened. Slowly but surely the Phillies chipped away at the Mets lead. It started in the bottom of the 4th, a mere 1 run scored by Shane Victorino on a Pedro Feliz sacrifice fly. It steamrolled in the 5th with 2 home runs, by Jimmy Rollins and Ryan Howard, each a 2-run shot. 7-5. Mets fans were getting nervous. And angry.

by TheFightins

To stir up as much drama and emotion as they can, the Phillies "waited" to score another run in the 8th, a Rollins single scoring pinch hitter Chris Coste (his name will come up again). And finally in the bottom of the 9th, with 2 outs and Jayson Werth on 2nd, Eric Bruntlett pinch hit for Brad Lidge. Bruntlett smashed a double to right field scoring Werth and assuring the Philly faithful of extra innings. No runs would cross the plate in the 10th, 11th, or 12th. Things changed in the bottom of the 13th when the Phillies MVP of the last 6 weeks, Shane Victorino, step to the plate. Victorino belted Scott Schoeneweis' 0-1 pitch to deep right field for a lead-off triple. The Mets intentionally walked Jayson Werth and Eric Bruntlett. With Phillies reliever Rudy Seanez up, Phillies Manager Charlie Manuel was forced to pinch hit with a pitcher. Brett Myers proceeded to strike out. But fear not, that was only the first out. Coste, a pinch hitter that entered the game in the 8th and scored the tying run, was due up. After taking a ball, Coste smacked a deep single to center field. Carlos Beltran just let it go; he knew he couldn't stop the Phillies from winning the game. Final score: Philadelphia 8, New York 7. Coste finished the game 4-4. Rollins had a second consecutive superb game, 5 for 7 with 1 run and 3 RBIs. Pat Burrell had a night to forget. He came to the plate many times with a chance to add some runs or win the game and he couldn't get it done. He left 10 on base and struck out 4 times in 7 at-bats.

Ryan Howard (6) congratulates Chris Coste on his 13th inning game-winning single.

This game was one of and possibly the best of the year for the Phillies. Howevere, it means little if they don't keep the Mets at bay tonight. A Mets rebound today could be more demoralizing for the Phillies than that extra inning choke by the Mets last night. When you get the chance you must bury your opponent. Allowing them back in - again - would give them hope and suck the life right out of the clubhouse. The Mets are by no means out of it. But Philadelphia has a chance to capitalize in a big way.

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