Mike Adams. Image Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Familiar, yet pleasantly different: The Philadelphia Phillies top the Colorado Rockies in the ninth inning

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Last night’s game against the Rockies went the way so many other Phillies games have gone this season. All the familiar failings were there:

Having the bases loaded with nobody out and failing to score? Check.

Poor fielding? Check.

Questionable managerial decisions regarding the bullpen? Check.

Bullpen implosion? Check.

The only difference was that the Rockies were the team that did those things, and the Phillies were the team that took advantage.

In the seventh inning, it was difficult to envision the Phillies winning this one, as Antonio Bastardo was in full-blown “bad Bastardo” mode. He had gotten out of a jam the inning before, but apparently he couldn’t bear the thought of pitching two consecutive successful innings.

After walking the bases loaded, Ryne Sandberg had no choice but to remove Bastardo from the game. As the crowd serenaded Bastardo with well-deserved boos, Mike Adams came in to try to save the day.

To almost everyone’s surprise, he succeeded. First, he got pinch hitter Carlos Gonzalez to ground into a 1-2-3 double play. He followed that up with a strikeout of Troy Tulowitzki, and the Phillies somehow escaped unscathed.

I don’t think anyone would have blamed Adams if he punched Jake Diekman for allowing a solo home run the following inning. After that, it seemed that Adams’ heroics would be all for naught.

But in the ninth inning, the Rockies did their best Phillies impression. First, Tony Gwynn, Jr. got on board thanks to a throwing error by second baseman D.J. LeMahieu. Next came a Ben Revere single. Tulowitzki also committed an error when he dropped a Jimmy Rollins pop up in foul territory. Even though Rollins was eventually retired, it showed that the Rockies might have been a bit rattled.

With two outs, and two men on, Rockies manager Walt Weiss chose to remove closer LaTroy Hawkins in favor of Boone Logan. While it seems unusual to remove the team’s closer in the ninth (especially considering if not for the error, the game would have been over), but the move is defensible. Hawkins hasn’t exactly been a shut down closer this season, and with Chase Utley and Ryan Howard due up, it made sense to bring in the left-handed Logan.

Naturally, Logan surrendered a game-tying single to Utley and then a game-winning home run to Howard.

This one seemed like a loss. Heck, it seemed like several losses we had already seen this season. But for one night, the Rockies were the team that made all of the crucial mistakes, and the Phillies were the team that got to celebrate at the end.

 

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