Last season, the Phillies once scored three runs in the ninth inning for a magical comeback win that set the tone for an unprecedented run of success. It was Opening Day.
This year, the Phillies scored four runs to pull out a seemingly impossible win, only now it’s late July, and we’re a decade and a half out of the divisional race, and the wild card’s getting pretty blurry, and if there is an unprecedented run of success about to start then it better start quickly and it better be totally and unequivocally fucking unprecedented.
Because tonight was awesome.
Doc didn’t look great . He was touched in the first inning for two, but had Chase and Ryan pull him out of the fire in the bottom of the inning with back-to-back nightmares off Randy Wolf. In the third, Ryan Braun bounced a grounder off Ryan Howard and knocked in another run for the wrong team, and everything sort of imploded when Carlos Gomez stepped up in the fourth and bashed a three-run piece of crap to left. Combine that with Shane Victorino leaving after getting hit in what Charlie Manuel referred to as “his elbow-part,” and this was gearing up to be the 2012est Phillies game ever.
But something happened when the bullpen entered the game in the seventh: Nothing. Michael Schwimer, Jake Diekman, and Joe Savery allowed zero runs to score. They allowed two walks and no hits. None.
The seventh inning was also throbbing with offensive chances. The Brewers were dropping pop-ups, walking batters none stop, and hurling wild pitches, but somehow, only one Phillies run got across. I’m not sure if you can tell, but I’m saying “somehow” very sarcastically in that sentence. We know why. This is the 2012 Phillies. Ryan and Chooch struck out with the bases loaded.
So then everybody just kind of watched shit happen for a while, until the bottom of the ninth, when everybody stuck around to laugh at how cartoonishly the team would set itself up to fail. But two walks and a single later, Ryan Howard stepped in to face the same situation he’d failed in merely one at-bat ago. This time, he punched a single through the middle, and reached third after Chooch–also seeking redemption–tied the game with a single and Pence walked.
Naturally, Charlie used his backup catcher as a pinch runner and Erik Kratz was the one diving through home plate and sweetly embracing John Mayberry in celebration after Wiggy’s fly ball.
It may be time to stop trying to figure out what each win means and just start enjoying them when they happen. This is not a team that you thought could pull off two walk off wins, let alone in a row. And they were fun. And the Brewers are stupid.
So just start clapping and don’t stop until the Phillies lose.
When It All Went Right
When you heard it was 6-2 and the Phillies were losing again. When you cast off all hope and went about other Monday night activities, like mowing your lawn or calling your college girlfriend and hanging up. When you, out of insatiable curiosity, checked the score after the game was over and saw the higher number next to the Phillies.
When you were you stunned that you forgot about the “hanging up” part of calling your college girlfriend, and as you digested the dramatic comeback win in which we were the victors for once, you heard Denise’s voice asking, “Hello? Hello?!”
Most Attractive Play
Carlos Gomez–we’ll get to him in a minute–had already knocked Doc out of the game with a three-run shot and was scampering around the base paths like a whore between appointments. Chooch gunned him down at second in the seventh, and Chase laid down a “STFU” tag that Chris Wheeler felt all the way up in the booth.
There was nothing pretty about Ty Wigginton’s game-winning sac “fly.” The fact that it was more of a line drive. The fact that it wasn’t really that deep. Ryan Braun’s hideous throw after catching it in which he looked like he was trying to perform an Olympic triple jump while hurling a beach ball at a bulls eye with his eyes closed.
But, ugly as it was, you’ve got to give Ty the credit–he put the ball deep enough to score, apparently.
Carlos Gomez, tagging our ace, stepping on our bases, parading around like his team wasn’t about to lose in the ninth inning to a last place team.