In a dramatic turn of events, the Phils come back to defeat the Dodgers by scoring eight runs in the last two innings, with the last four coming off of Jonathan Broxton in a wild ninth inning, winning the game with a Carlos Ruiz walk-off double, 10-9.
The Dodgers took the lead in the first as, with runners on the corners, and with two men out, Ronnie Belliard hits an RBI single, scoring Scott Podsednik, who had earlier singled, moved to second on Ryan Theriot’s ground out, 4-3, then went to third on Andre Ethier’s ground out, 4-3, giving the Dodgers a 1-0 lead, while sending James Loney, who had just walked, on to second base. Matt Kemp then gave the Dodgers a 2-0 lead with an RBI single, knocking in Loney, while sending Belliard to second. James Carroll then made it a 3-0 Dodgers’ lead with an RBI single of his own, scoring Belliard, while sending Kemp to third, before moving up to second on the late throw to third. The Phils got a run back in the second as, with two men on, and with one man out, Joe Blanton hits an RBI ground out, 5-3, knocking in Carlos Ruiz, who had earlier singled, then went to third on Wilson Valdez’s double, making it a 3-1 Dodgers’ lead, while sending Valdez, who had just doubled, over to third base. The Phils then cut the Dodgers’ lead down to 3-2 in the fourth as, with a runner on second, and with one man out, Ruiz hit an RBI single, scoring Jayson Werth, who had earlier singled, and then stole second base. The Dodgers would get one of those runs back in the fifth as, with two men on, and with one man out, Belliard hits a sacrifice fly, scoring Theriot, who had earlier singled, and had gone on to third on Ethier’s single, making it a 4-2 Dodgers’ lead. The Dodgers then made it 6-2 in the seventh as, with one man on, and with one out, Kemp hits a two-run bomb, his nineteenth home run of the year, knocking in Loney, who had earlier singled. The Dodgers added to their lead in the eighth as, with two men on, and with two men out, Casey Blake hits an RBI single, scoring Podsendik, who was earlier safe at first on first baseman Mike Sweeney’s fielding error, then moved up to second on Ethier’s single, making it a 7-2 Dodgers’ lead, while sending Ethier, who had earlier singled, over to third base. Kemp then made it an 8-2 Dodgers’ lead with an RBI single, knocking in Ethier, while sending Blake up to second base. Carroll then gave the Dodgers a 9-2 lead with an RBI single of his own, scoring Blake, while sending Kemp over to third, before moving up to second on the throw. The Phils, after falling behind by seven runs, then started to chip away at the Dodgers’ lead. In their half of the eighth, Placido Polanco started the inning off with a single. Sweeney followed him with a single of his own, sending Polanco to second base. With Werth batting, Ronald Bellsario threw a wild pitch, sending Polanco to third base, and Sweeney up to second base. Werth then hits a two-run single, scoring both Polanco and Sweeney, cutting the Dodgers’ lead down to 9-4. With Ben Francisco batting, Bellsario committed a balk, sending Werth up to second base, although it took the home plate umpire a long time before finally saying that Bellsario’s fake to third and then to first move was a balk, since there was no body on third at the time, as he needed to be prompted first by Phils’ manager, Charlies Manuel, and then by the rest of the umpiring crew. Francisco then hits an RBI double, bringing in Werth, cutting the Dodgers lead down even further to 9-5. After Ruiz hits a bullet to third, that was grabbed by third baseman Blake, for a 5-3 ground out, the inning’s first out, Valdez hits an RBI single, knocking in Francisco, making it a 9-6 Dodgers’ lead. The Dodgers would then get out of the inning as pinch hitter Ben Francisco flies out to left, and then, after Jimmy Rollins walks, Raul Ibanez ended the inning by hitting into a force out, 4-6, wiping out Rollins at second base. After Danys Baez shut down the Dodgers in the top of the ninth, the Dodgers brought in Jonathan Broxton to nail down the game for them. He did not do so. After falling behind Polanco 2-0, he hit him with his third pitch, as Polanco turned his body so that the ball would not hit his right elbow, sending Polanco to first. The next two batters, Sweeney and Werth, then walked, loading up the bases, with nobody out. Ben Francisco then followed by hitting what should have been a doubleplay grounder to third, but was misplayed by Blake who pulled up his glove too soon, becoming a fielding error, allowing both Polanco and Sweeney to score, cutting the Dodgers lead down to 9-7, while sending Werth up to second base. Now, with two men on, and with still nobody out, Ruiz hits a 1-1 slider towards left center field, where it would hit against the wall and bounce in for a double, knocking in first Werth, and then Francisco, who was on Werth’s heels, with the winning run, as the Phils had a 10-9 walk-off win.
Joe Blanton gets a no-decision as he pitches five and two-thirds innings, giving up four runs on eight hits and four walks, while striking out three. Chad Durbin pitches an innings and a third, giving up two runs on two hits and a walk, while striking out one. J.C. Romero pitches two-thirds of an inning, giving up two unearned run on a hit, while striking out a batter. Jose Contreras pitches a third of an inning, giving up a run on three hits, while striking out a batter. Danys Baez gets the win as he pitches a scoreless inning, giving up a hit. His record is now 3-3 with a 5.40 ERA. Clayton Kershaw also receives a no-decision, as he pitches six and two-thirds innings, giving up two runs on six hits and two walks, while striking out four. Hong-Chih Kuo records his seventeenth hold of the year as he pitches a third of an inning, getting out the only man that he would face. Ronald Belisaro pitches to four batters, giving up four runs on four hits, a wild pitch and a balk. Kenley Jansen pitches a third of an inning, giving up a hit. George Sherrill records his third hold of the year as he pitches two-thirds of an inning, giving up a walk. Jonathan Broxton blew his fifth save of the season, before taking the lost, as he faces five batters, giving up four runs on just one hit, two walks and a hit batter. His record is now 4-4 with a 3.50 ERA.
The Phils had twelve hits in the game, with Carlos Ruiz leading the team with three hits, two singles and a double, knocking in three runs, including the game winner, as he raised his batting average to .294. He was followed by Placido Polanco, Mike Sweeney, Jayson Werth and Wilson Valdez, who all had two hits apiece, with Polanco, Sweeney and Werth’s hits all being singles, with Werth knocking in two runs, while Valdez’s hits were a single and a double, as he knocks in a run. Ben Francisco had the other Phil hit, a double, as he knocks in two runs. Joe Blanton knocks in the other Phil RBI with a ground out, while the other run came in on an error. The offense this time was able to come back, in spite of the bullpen, although helped by a Broxton melt down in the ninth. Seriously, either the Phils are deep in his head (Thank you Matt Stairs), or the Phils got some supernatural assistant from a young male fan in the ninth. Either way, I think Joe Torre might think twice and maybe a third time before using him with such a small lead in the ninth against the Phils. Not so good things seems to happen to him. 😉
The Phils (64-50, 2nd) will now go to New York for a three-game set with the Mets (57-57, 4th). The game will be played at Citi Field and will start at 7:10 pm Eastern. The Phils will send to the mound Cole Hamels (7-8, 3.45), who is coming off a lost against the Mets on August 7, where he pitched seven strong innings, giving up only one run on six hits, while he struck out eleven, in the Phils’ 1-0 lost. In his last three starts, his record is 0-1 with two no-decisions, as he pitched nineteen innings, giving up eight runs on eighteen hits and four waks, while striking out twenty-nine. He will be trying to get even with the Mets for his last lost. The Mets will counter with R.A. Dickey (7-5, 2.65), who is coming off a lost against the Phils on August 8, as he went only three innings, giving up four runs, on eight hits and a walk, in the Phils’ 6-5 win. In his last three starts, his record is 1-1 with a no-decision, as he pitched seventeen and a third innings, giving up six runs on nineteen hits and seven walks, while striking out four. He hopes that the Phils won’t be able to handle him again. The Phils will be trying to take the momentum from their ninth-inning win last night into New York City for the weekend.
The Phils end the first half of the regular season on a high note as they sweep the 1st place Reds behind the six-hit pitching of Cole Hamels, as they defeat the Reds, 1-0.
The Phils took the lead in the third as, with a runner on second, and with two men out, Jimmy Rollins hits an RBI single, scoring Carlos Ruiz, who was safe on second on a ground-rule double, thanks to fan interference as a fan in the left center field seats touched the ball while it was still in play, which was confirmed when the umpires reviewed the call, giving the Phils a 1-0 lead. The Reds tried to come back in the fourth, as they loaded the bases, via a single to Paul Janish and walks to Joey Votto and Scott Rolen, and with nobody out, when Jonny Gomes hit into a force out, 5-2, wiping out Janish at home as Ruiz touches the plate for the inning’s first out, while both Votto and Rolen would move up a base, and Gomes would be safe at first. The Phils then got out of the inning as Jay Bruce lined out to Phils’ starter Cole Hamels, who would catch the ball before it could hit the ground, then throw over to second for a 1-6 doubleplay, doubling up Votto, to end the inning, with the Phils still in the lead. The Phils then tried to increase their lead in their half of the fourth, as they loaded the bases via a ground-rule double for Jayson Werth, as another fan interfered with a ball in play, this time preventing what could have been either a triple or an inside-the-park home run, depending on how the ball would’ve hit the wall in center field, by catching it, a call that was once again confirmed by a review by the umpires, Ryan Howard being hit by the pitch, and a walk to Ruiz, moving both Werth and Howard up a base, and with two men out. Reds starter Matt Maloney would turn the Phils’ away by getting Wilson Valdez to hit into a force out at third, 6-5, wiping out Howard for the inning’s final out. Neither team would make another serious threat during the game as both starters would keep the bats under control. The game would end as a Phils win as the Reds would go down 1-2-3 in the ninth as J.C. Romero would strike out Bruce swinging for the inning’s first out, then Brad Lidge would record his sixth save of the season by first striking out Drew Stubbs swinging and then getting pitch hitter Miguel Cairo to pop out to right for the game’s final out.
Cole Hamels gets the win as he pitches seven and two-thirds strong innings, giving up six scattered hits and three walks, while striking out three. His record is now 7-7 with a 3.78 ERA. Jose Contreras collects his seventh hold of the year as he pitches a third of an innings, walking a batter. J.C. Romero also pitches a third of an inning, striking out the only man that he would face, collecting his fourth hold of the season. Brad Lidge collects his sixth save of the year as he pitches two-thirds of an inning, getting out both men that he would face, striking out one. Matt Maloney took the lost, as he pitches six innings, giving up a run on four hits and a walk, while striking out one. His record is now 0-2 with a 3.09 ERA. Nick Masset and Arthur Rhodes pitches for two shut out innings, giving up just one walk (Masset) and a hit batter (Rhodes) between them, while striking out three (Masset).
The Phils had just four hits in the game, with Jimmy Rollins leading the team with two hits, both singles, as he knocked in the only run of the game, for the second game in a row. Carlos Ruiz and Jayson Werth had the other two Phils’ hits, both ground-rule doubles, thanks to fan interference in both cases, with the second one, on Werth’s hit, being the more costly, as it might have ended up being either a triple or an inside-the-park home run, based on where the ball might have hit the wall and with Reds’ center fielder Drew Stubbs being positioned almost against the wall in center, that ball would have been going places, but, since the fan caught it, we may never know. Guys, let the ball alone unless you are quite sure it will be leaving the ballpark. You may never know what might be the results.
The Phils (47-40, 3rd NL East) will be off for the next three days (except for Ryan Howard and Roy Halladay, who will both be at the All-Star Game), trying to recharge their batteries before they start the second half with a four-game set against the Cubs (39-50, 4th NL Central) in Chicago at Wrigley Field.