I’m going to be completely honest about the Phillies’ 16-inning 7-4 win over the Dodgers. I have two things I need to come clean about.
- I didn’t think they were going to win. It’s not that I don’t have faith in the Phillies, but when you get to innings beyond the 12th, things get crazy. Umpires throw players out for no reason. Guys doze on the field. Tiny mistakes mean literally everything. The game becomes all you’ve ever known and all you will ever know. It’s intense, and these Phillies are young. Who knew what was going to happen?
- I fell asleep. I’m a 35-year-old woman (I’m not ashamed to say that) and it was after midnight and I’d been watching the game for five hours. I fell asleep in the bottom of the 15th and woke up to this amazing news. And honestly, I’m glad I did it that way, because I don’t think I would have been able to truly appreciate the Phillies’ win at 1am.
A bit of weirdness led up to the Phillies win. In the first inning, a run was charged to Aaron Nola because Jesmuel Valentin got spooked by the approaching feet of Odubel Herrera, and an easily catchable ball dropped in the shallow outfield. Before the nine innings of regulation ended, home plate umpire Tom Hallion was hit in the bottom of his face mask with a foul ball. He got his bell rung and left the game, which resulted in a long, long break while Phil Cuzzi went in to get all the gear on and take over at home plate.
But not so weird was their three-run comeback in the seventh inning. Jorge Alfaro clubbed a homer that went farther than I’ve seen a lot homers go at Citizens Bank Park. Three runs crossed the plate, and it tied the game. They did the same thing on Monday, and it’s time I got rid of that 2013-2017 Phillies mentality. I’ve seen this team come back enough times now that I should stop expecting them to lose. I should expect them to win.
It took them quite awhile to win, but they did it. Gabe Kapler ran out of position players before he ran out of pitchers, though he had to dip into his rotation to get it. Vince Velasquez, Monday’s starter, took the ball and got the Phillies three outs in the 16th inning. He was the capper on a bullpen that pitched ELEVEN scoreless innings, which is just remarkable.
How did the Dodgers handle the long game? They saved Kenley Jansen for the 14th and 15th innings, and he did well. But after that, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts didn’t do what Kapler did. He didn’t dig into his rotation to get more outs. He sent Enrique Hernandez, AKA Chase Utley’s large adult son, out to the mound. And that is what gave the Phillies the game. In the end, Gabe Kapler wanted the win more than Dave Roberts did. He was willing to send Velasquez out to the mound, and Roberts wasn’t.
The Phillies want this. They want every win, they want every victory, they want to win the NL East and go toe to toe with the best the National League has to offer. Am I crying as I write this because it’s all so emotional and wonderful to see a Phillies team with so much fight? NO I’M NOT CRYING WHY WOULD YOU EVEN THINK THAT ::sniff::
Here’s how the game ended, with Trevor Plouffe hitting a three-run home run and unleashing so much joy in Citizens Bank Park.
Check out the hug that Gabe Kapler and Trevor Plouffe are sharing in the header image for this recap. I look at that and I legitimately get emotional. Plouffe hasn’t been part of the major league Phillies for long, but he’s part of the team and he contributed in a big way, and exactly when the Phillies needed him to. That hug is just everything. I bet Kap gives intensely awesome hugs.