The Phillies came within a hair's breadth of losing this one. I could see it happening in my head. Antonio Bastardo or Joe Savery pitches the bottom of the eighth, gives up a home run or two, and the Phillies lose when they can't rally.
But instead of tossing out Bastardo, Savery, or anyone else in the bullpen to pitch a close game at home run happy Coors Field, Charlie Manuel went to Jonathan Papelbon with one out in the bottom of the eighth. He retired all five batters he faced and locked up the win and his second five-out save of the season.
There were also other good things in this game. Here they are in convenient list form:
- Vance Worley looked good tonight. He went 6 2/3, allowing two runs on eight hits and two walks. He also had two hits tonight, his first two of the season. While Worley was aggressively legging out what would be his first hit, he hit the bag but tripped and went flying end over end. He popped right up and laughed it off, while Ty Wigginton raised his arms in salute from the dugout. Wigginton is such a brodude.
- Every day, I feel like someone wonders out loud or into a microphone or in a blog post or on twitter "Is this the day that Carlos Ruiz comes back to earth?" To that I usually say: "Today is not that day." And it was true. Chooch hit a three-run homer in the first inning to put the Phillies up 4-0. It was the Phillies' first three-run homer since Juan Pierre accidentally hit one back on June 23.
- And speaking of Juan Pierre, he was on base four times today. 3-for-3 with a walk. He stole a base, but was also caught stealing.
- Chase Utley had a similar type of night. He went 3-for-5 and also got caught stealing. That ended a streak of 20 consecutive stolen bases for Utley. It also deprived us of the chance to see Jonathan Papelbon bat for the first time in his career. I'm not sure I can forgive that.
- Shane Victorino got a much needed boost today, as his two hits were his first extra base hits in over a month. He had a double and a triple.