Boy, I hope you like the Phillies.
The way they’ve played this series has been utterly ridiculous, from the many mistakes, to the many clutch hits, to the many comeback, 7-6 wins. Today, though, seemed to unfold with refreshing, by-the-book victory. Until the end, when it didn’t anymore.
Chase Utley wouldn’t stop doubling today, and knocked in three runs because of it. Erik Kratz also had a 3-for-5 day with an RBI of his own. In general, the Phillies were getting on base, and allowing those who bothered to get on base to score. With a 5-1 lead going into the sixth, Vance Worley appeared to be in control and wouldn’t even have the “Well they didn’t score for me!” excuse that Cliff had yesterday.
And there it was. A good old-fashioned straightforward victory, in which we win the game by scoring more runs than the other team and then the game ending. But the Brewers, gluttons for punishment, crawled back to tie it, thanks to home runs from Rickie Weeks and Ryan Braun and an RBI double from Carlos Gomez. Also, Ty Wigginton and the bullpen had to have their say, because this is America.
The game remained untied, and free baseball was had by all. Carlos Gomez popped up like an idiot to start the tenth. Relieved applause began as Ty Wigginton settled under it and then immediately was replaced by aggressive boos two seconds later when he dropped it for some reason. Gomez reached second, clapping like the deranged kindergartener everyone stays away from.
Gomez was eventually sac-flied in by Aramis Ramirez, giving Michael Schwimer an undeserved notch upwards in the old ERA. Erik Kratz continued his banner day by icing the intentionally walked Ryan Braun as he tried to steal second about as effectively as a bull elephant.
So, the bottom of the tenth rolls around, and who should lead off but today’s scapegoat Ty Wigginton. With the way this series has gone, you’d think the script would have had Ty cranking a quick solo shot to end things and redeem himself. Instead he flew out to right pretty immediately and returned to the dugout amidst a fresh sea of boos.
K-Rod, who had entered the game to “close” things out, then walked John Mayberry and gave up a double to who else but Phillies third string catcher and offensive dynamo Erik Freaking Kratz. Professional Hero Carlos Ruiz then stepped in with two runners in scoring position and tied the game with a sac fly, a moment overshadowed on the highlight reel because minutes later, J-Roll singled pinch runner Mike Fontenot in from second to close the book on a series that was played by a Phillies team from three years ago.
When It All Went Right
Chooch, tying the game by getting the ball out of the infield at a point when everybody was thinking “Just get it out of the infield.” They never listen when we think that.
Most Attractive Play
This is going to sound stupid, but after Wigginton’s childlike fumbling of a pop-up, Erik Kratz almost made this ridiculous diving catch of a foul pop that got maybe three feet off the ground. It was attractive mostly because he made a great attempt and almost succeeded, and in the shadow of contrast cast by Wigginton having an easy play and blowing it, Kratz got some polite applause from a recently-infuriated Phillies crowd.
Erik Kratz, for being fill-in Chooch and getting lots of hits and doubling in the 10th in a clutch manner that Brian Schneider probably wouldn’t have grasped.
Ty Wigginton, although his ineptitude allowed for the victory to be registered as a “comeback,” so perhaps we should be praising his lack of motor skills?