Almost one month ago, Todd Helton took his foot off the bag.
The misstep allowed Placido Polanco to reach first base safely, and thus give the Phillies a walkoff win in what was one of the most hideous incarnations of the feat; up there with the elusive “walkoff balk.”
The win gave the Phillies a series win; an anomaly for this team, as they had lost the won before it, and they would lose the one after it. In fact, they’ wouldn’t win any of those that followed it. Until today.
The same Rockies, only this time, in Denver, where the air is thinner and the teams are just as horrible as we are. Maybe a little horribler. And the Phillies offense came through for a stoic Cole Hamels as the Rockies out-horribled the Phillies in the series finale.
Cole took a break from being the chief topic of trade rumors to, you know, pitch, which he still does occasionally. For the first time in what felt like a decade, his performance wasn’t broken up by a crock of defensive shit or miscues or mental errors. He went out there and hacksawed through the Rockies lineup from the get-go, allowing eight hits through eight innings, one run, and seven K’s. He even plucked Dexter Fowler off first after he had the audacity to reach base.
Antonio Bastardo entered the game in the ninth to serve as some sort of away game/non-save situation closer. He watched as the first two batters he faced grounded themselves out to Jimmy Rollins, and then K’d Tyler Colvin with a mind shattering pitch.
Chase and Ryan didn’t start today, though Ryan came into pinch hit in the ninth to ground into a double play in the name of Cole Hamels. But the best stat of the night was the W, getting the Phils a series win to start off the second half before hurtling into Los Angeles for a series of 10:05 starts.
When It All Went Right
Hunter’s three run home run would have, last year, been the moment that we all quietly fist pumped, then went back to paying attention to our significant others without constantly looking at the TV behind them. Three more runs with an ace pitching? Please.
But this year, a five run lead is basically meaningless, so it is not until after the game has ended and the stadium has emptied and all the players have gone home that we feel comfortable enough to say Pence’s dinger was the punch that shifted the momentum forever in our favor.
Most Attractive Play
John Mayberry is like seven feet tall but when he lays out for sinking liners he’s seven feet long.
MLB.com claimed Pence stole Chooch’s thunder with the home run, but Pence taking advantage of the thin mountain air, combined with Chooch getting himself involved on multiple offensive plays while maintaining a level of output not seen since the creation of the earth seems like the bigger story.
Carlos Gonzalez just couldn’t let things go in the bottom of the sixth and ruined Cole’s shutout with a bullshit RBI triple.