Sunday, July 12, 2009

Great come from behind victory

Don't ever count this team out. I should know better by now, but I was about ready to chalk last night's game up as a loss. The move to pinch hit Matt Stairs leading off the ninth seemed foolish. They had used John Mayberry Jr. in a situation with runners on base earlier in the game, instead of Stairs against a right handed pitcher. Ideally, you'd like Stairs to come to the plate with men on base. Leading off the ninth, the Phils needed someone to get on base and start a potential rally. Stairs did just that with his home run, and the top of the lineup did all you could ask for. They brought Ryan Howard to the plate as the tying run, and Howard delivered with a three run smash.

Raul Ibanez had a successful return, going 2-5 with two doubles and scoring the game winning run. He followed Howard's game tying homer by nearly hitting a walk-off homer of his own. The double put him in scoring position though and proved to be the difference as he crossed the plate on Paul Bako's first real contribution to the team.

What is ailing Cole Hamels? He has the stuff, as we all know. He was terrible through the first two innings last night, but settled down to at least save the bullpen from having a long night of work. The Phillies need Hamels to get it together during the all-star break and come out in the second half having returned to his dominant form.

J.A. Happ looks to give the Phils the series sweep and send them into the break having gone 9-1 on the homestand. The Marlins have cooled off and fell four games back last night, while Atlanta remains five back and the Mets stay in fourth place, six and a half games out.

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