The Phils won a wild one tonight, 11-10, over the Reds by scoring five runscount 'emin the top of the ninth. They are now one game behind the Astros in the wild card hunt. They remain four behind the Braves for the NL East title.
The odd thing is the Phils were cruising, up 6-1 in the middle of the fifth. Then the floodgates opened. They gave up nine runs in the next three innings and fell behind 10-6.
I was switching to the homer Braves broadcast as the Phils got passed, 8-6. The Braves were behind the Marlins, 3-0, but they surged ahead, seemingly with the help of this good news, for an eventual win. The Astros had already lost to the Cubs. The Phillies were missing a golden opportunity to pick up a game on each of them.
Then something happened. Jimmy Rollins, as he has been doing so often lately, started it off with a leadoff single in the ninth off putative Reds closer David Weathers on an 0-1 pitch. Kenny Lofton singled to the right side on 1-0. Then Chase Utley collected his second homer of the night after working the count full.
With a one-run lead, Weathers got a lucky break on an apparently low strikeout call on Bobby Abreu. Abreu was thrown out of the game but somehow stayed on the bench. Pat Burrell also struck out and it seemed like too little too late for the Phils.
Next up was Ryan Howard who for some reason was given the Barry Bonds treatment. He got an unintentional intentional pass to first on four pitches.
It made sense, right? Why allow a guy who could tie the game with one swing have a chance to do so? Why not let the weak-swinging David Bell come to the plate. Right?
Uh no, on a full count, David Bell hit a gopher shot over the left field wall to put the Phils up to stay, 11-10. The only problem was that the Phils turnaround was so rapidLieberthal ended the inning with a flyout two pitches after the Bell dingerthat they had to rush to get Billy Wagner ready to close out the ninth, but he set them down 1-2-3 with two strikeouts.
I'm glad as a Phils fan and a baseball fan. Anyone who walks the tying run apparently on purpose deserves to take the loss.
This team is confounding. I'm like Michael Corleone: I keep getting pulled back in by them. I feel like that Randy Quaid Indians fan character in one of the films in the "Major League" franchise when he grouses the entire season that the Indians are going to blow. But then he turns it around right before the contrived climax. He wore an Indians hat inside out the entire movie.
I planned a trip to the Phils last game of the season in DC. It was just happenstance. A few friends and I wanted to see a Nationals game in RFK and this was the only date that worked. I had planned on wearing my expansion-wear Nationals shirt and hat, but I just might have to turn that Phils hat right side out and put it back on my head.