The Phils squeaked by the Braves 4-3 in ten innings tonight at the Vet on a Tomas Perez RBI seeing-eye single to plate Bat Burrell.
Some unconventional moves are what did it for the Phils tonight:
- Perez entered the game on a double-switch of Randy Wolf and Tyler Houston (3B batting sixth) for Carlos Silva and Perez. Well, that's not so weird, is it? It was in the sixth inning.
- The Phils brought closer Jose Mesa in with two outs and man on third in the top of the ninth of a tie ballgame. He stayed through a 1-2-3 tenth to pick up the win. For all the ado about the Boston bullpen, this is what Bill James has been expounding: bringing in your best reliever at the key time and using him for more than one inning in a shot.
- Finally, the Phils used pitcher Brett Myers to pinch-hit for Mesa in the tenth. There were no outs and Burrell, the winning run at first. Everyone in the house knew Myers was bunting and still he laid down a good one. Two batters later, Perez drove Burrell home for the win. That's what you get for bringing in Kevin Gryboski with the game on the line.
One other note: It was a wild night due to the low temperatures. There were 16 walks (10 by the Braves). The Braves had two errors that allowed Pat Burrell to get into scoring position in the second: one on a throwing error by Marcus Giles fielding Burrell's hit and the second on a Jason Marquis errant pickoff attempt. RandyWolf had a wild pitch that scored Vinny Castilla and allowed Marcus Giles to move to third and eventually score on an infield single in the fourth. Wolf had another wild pitch after walking Marcus Giles in the sixth. Wolf was then removed from the game but Giles scored on a two-out Julio Franco double.
Gary Varsho managed the Phils with Larry Bowa serving his one-game suspension. Maybe Varsho should took over the reigns every night. Shucks, he can't. There's that proviso in the major league rules that all new managers must be former backup catchers. Dagnabit!