These late games are surly a killer.
But on Tuesday, the Philadelphia Phillies made the game extra special, that is if you were able to stay awake for it.
The Phillies took the lead twice early on, but the Arizona Diamondbacks stole the lead in the bottom of the seventh and it looked liked the Phil’s goose was cooked as the team last score in the fifth inning.
A great ninth inning rally started by pinch hitter Jimmy Paredes and capitalized on by Andres Blanco gave the Phillies the tying and go-ahead runs the team needed to win the ballgame by a final score of 4-3.
The Phillies for sure could have packed this one in and not tried, especially considering Arizona was 32-0 when leading after seven innings and the Phillies were 0-41 when trailing after eight innings. This is the first time since May 16-18 the Phillies have won a series and the first time the Phillies have won two straight games in five weeks.
Pitcher Jerad Eickhoff helped his cause to start the scoring in the top of the second when he singled on a line drive to right to score Freddy Galvis. The Diamondbacks answered in the bottom half of the inning when Pitcher Zack Greinke hit a sacrifice fly to left to score Jake Lamb.
In the top of the fifth, Maikel Franco hit a shot to left center for a go-ahead home run, his 13 of the season. Franco has hit 10 home runs 0n the road and just three at home. In the bottom of the sixth, Yasmany Tomas answered with a home run of his own to left center to tie the game at two.
In the bottom of the seventh, Lamb hit a home run to right field to give the lead to the Diamondbacks before the magical ninth inning happened for the Phils.
After Paredes doubled to start the inning, Blanco singled to scored Paredes. Odubel Herrera singled to move Blanco to third before Pete Bourjos walked to load the bases. After a Franco strikeout, Ryan Howard also walked to bring home Blanco before the inning was eneded thanks to a Carlos Ruiz double play.
It was the second blow save of the year for D-backs closer Brad Ziegler. Winning pitcher Hector Neris picked up his MLB leading 41st game of the season while Jeanmar Gomez earned his 21st save of the season.
Eickhoff pitched five relatively strong innings, allowing seven hits, two runs, three walks while striking out six. David Hernandez came in for the next two innings and allowed two hits and one run while striking out four. Neris and Gomez combined for two innings of work, allowing one hit and earning one strikeout.
Greinke lasted just two innings before leaving the game due to injury. Randall Delgado took over on the hill and pitched three innings allowing three hits, a run and a walk while striking out three. Andrew Chafin, Tyler Clippard and Daniel Hudson pitched the sixth, seventh and eighth innings and combined for allowing just one hit and a walk in their three innings of work. Clippard struck out three while Chafin added another.
The point that needs to change is the baserunning. At least three times in this game, I actually agreed with Ben Davis and was confused as to while the team tried to stretch a play longer or make a steal. This “magical” ninth inning would have never needed to happen if the team would stop making stupid plays on the base paths.
The two teams will square off in the final game of the series on Wednesday with first pitch at 3:40 p.m. (Leave it to my colleague EC to get an early game). The two young gun pitchers (both of whom are my age) are Zach Elfin for the Phils and Archie Bradley (for the D-Backs). The 22-year-old Elfin is 0-2 on the season after making his MLB debut on June 14th. He has a 6.28 ERA in three games and 14.1 innings of work while recording just six strikeouts. His opponent has a 3-3 record on the season with a 4.50 ERA in eight games and 46 innings of work. Bradley has recorded 49 strikeouts this year.
Be sure to pay close attention to the game as Gregg Murphy will be taking a dip in the famous pool at Chase Field after making a bet with John Clark and Ricky Bittalico that if the Phillies win the first two, he will jump in the pool.
Hope the water is great Murph!