Welcome back, J-Roll, you lazy, selfish loafer. And tonight, you had three hits, including the icing on what had been a 4 -3 bun
dt cake going into the ninth inning. Your three run homer in the ninth inning surely made the Knicks Mets fans tear at their own flesh.
The night started with mixed signals. The Phillies started Cliff Lee on the bump, but supported him with a lineup that included Juan Pierre, Mike Fonten't, Brian Schneider, and Ty Wigginton. You had to wonder if Charlie Manuel was scorning Clifton for his recent dugout dustup with the Red Skull. But Ty Wigginton had another ridiculous night: 2 - 4 with 2 RBI, and a walk. And Juan Pierre was...pesky. And at the right moment, Charlie, showing Clifton tough love, but still wanting to win, went to the well of Chooch and pulled out a game-tying 2-run homer in the seventh inning. Te quiero, Senor Octubre. Man. Crush. In the same way that Hulk smash!
Cliff Lee was...Cliff Lee. He served up a jack to Lucas Duda in the third, which scored Jerry Hairston. In the first, he walked a batter, Daniel Murphy. No, really...he walked a guy. And David Wright drilled a ball over Shane Victorino's head for a double. Murphy ran through a stop sign at third and scored on a play that looked close at first, but which was clearly not on the replay -- Murphy pushed Schneider's foot off the plate as Schneider took a relay from Rollins, scoring ahead of the tag.
Despite the troubles with a couple of hard hit balls, Lee was...ok. He ran lots of deep counts, and was lifted for a pinch hitter in the 7th and after he threw 99 pitches in 6 innings. His line wasn't awful, but it was not efficiently earned: 6 IP, 7H, 3R, 2 BB, and 7 Ks. It was one of those nights where Lee struggled a bit, but he kept the Phillies in it until they could get to the Met's bullpen. And that they did.
But first, the Phillies had to get through Dillon Gee, who was pretty good for the Mets: 6.2 IP, 6H, 2R, 1BB, and 5K. He was in some mild trouble in the 7th when he was pulled after throwing 110 pitches. Brian Schneider had just drilled a double over the head of Andres Torres, who slightly misplayed it as it sliced out of his reach - a better read and jump might have allowed him to catch it. In came Bobby Parnell for the Mets and Charlie Manuel pulled back Lee for a pinch hitter, Carlos Ruiz. Chooching happened, as described above. There was much joy and merriment. But Chooch just tied it. Being such an awesome teammate, he decided to only hit a 2 run homer, allowing someone else the opportunity to put the Phillies ahead.
In the eighth, Juan Pierre singled to left. Hunter Pence, whose evening was typically confounding at the plate, singled, and Pierre made it to third. Shane Victorino hit a low-trajectory ball to the outfield that allowed Pierre just enough time to tag up and score, giving the Phillies a 4 - 3 lead. A close game! Or not...
With Lee out, the Phillies had to, you know, have other pitchers pitch. Antonio Bastardo came in for the seventh, pitched a scoreless inning, and looked good doing it. Jose Contreras pitched a fabulous eighth, striking out two while looking dirtier than Bill Conlin at a family reunion. For a day, the troubles the Phillies have experienced in getting a lead safely to Jonathan Papelbon seemed to be solved.
In the ninth, everybody hit, WOOHOO!!!! Except that Freddy Galvis walked to get it going. Schneider sacrificed Galvis to second, since one insurance run was the goal. Then all hell broke loose. John Mayberry singled to left. Rollins hit his bomb. Pierre doubled. Pence reached on a fielder's choice but no out was recorded on the play. Wigginton doubled home a run. Victorino singled, scoring Pence and Wigginton. And it was over. Except for a sloppy ninth by Raul Valdes that was shaky enough at the end that Manuel relieved him with Papelbon who, to be fair, was already warmed for the ninth before the Phillies blew it open.
Fangraph of Picking Up a Game in the Standings: