Aug 10, 2011, 7:47 PM EDT
The 9-1 best-in-team-history 10-game road trip looked to be in serious jeopardy on Wednesday afternoon out in L.A. when Vance Worley came out in the first inning and gave up a hefty five spot.
But this is the Philadelphia Phillies we’re talking about. They’re not the best team in baseball for nothing, and overcoming a 6-0 deficit after three innings is a challenge they’re certainly up for.
In a long, strange game in which the Phillies had five different pitchers throw at least one inning and every starting position player either notch a hit or score a run, the Phillies battled back from the deep early hole and found a way to win.
The Phils scored 3 runs in the top of the 4th, two of them on a Hunter Pence blast to dead center, and the third on a single by Vance Worley. Hey, at least he helped them battle back.
They added two more in the fifth — Victorino scored on a Casey Blake error and Howard scored on an Ibanez ground out — to bring the Phils to within one at 6-5.
But it was an explosive sixth inning that really made this one exciting. Trailing 7-5 in the sixth, pinch-hitter Ben Francisco showed some value by working a walk and was eventually moved to third on a J-Roll single. Victorino went down hacking for the second out and that brought up Chase Utley who was 0-3 on the day at that point.
Utley slapped a single the other way that scored both Francisco and Rollins to tie the game at 7-7. Phillies fans didn’t even have enough time to savor Utley’s timely single because Ryan Howard bashed a ball to the opposite field that he knew was gone right off his bat. It was now 9-7 and the “Holy shit! What a comeback!” sentiment started spreading throughout Philadelphia.
But it wasn’t over juuuust yet. David Herndon pitched a clean bottom half of the sixth before Charlie Manuel brought out Brad Lidge for the seventh. Lidge got Ethier on strikes before allowing a pair of Dodgers on. Manuel had seen enough of his former closer and went to his young lefty stud in Antonio Bastardo in a tight situation.
Bastardo seems to savor this big situations and was once again fantastic. He forced Loney to fly out and got Navarro on strikes. Charlie stuck with Bastardo for the eighth and the kid rewarded him with a 1-2-3 inning.
Mad Dog made things a little too interesting in the ninth, but a sprinting Raul Ibanez grab on a ball trailing away from him in left kept the damage to a minimum. Ibanez gets ripped on a bit too much for his defense and it’s simply offbase a lot of the time. Heck of a defensive snare by Rauuuuuul there.
A win. A sweep. And a 9-1 road trip to cap off a 16-4 stretch of 20 games in 20 days.
Enjoy the day off on Thursday, Phils. You sure deserve it.
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