Follow-Up: Game Of The Year

Posted by Tim Malcolm, Wed, August 27, 2008 09:49 AM | Comments: 56

In case you slept through it, Chris Coste’s surefire fly ball beat the Mets in a 13-inning thriller, an incredible game that ended with the Phils atop the National League East again. A couple remarks from posters and bloggers:

Grrrumpy Miner: “INCREDIBLE! What a game! No matter who wins this game, they deserve it and you should tip your cap to both teams. Whether you are a Mets fan or a Phillies fan, you should embrace this game that was played tonight.”

Jason Weitzel, Beerleaguer: “This was an instant classic with improbable heroes, like Coste and Eric Bruntlett in particular, extraordinary gamesmanship, including newest third baseman Carlos Ruiz, and a bullpen that once again refused to break.”

Matt Cerrone, MetsBlog: “Despite the result, this was, without a doubt, the most entertaining baseball game of the season, and one of the best games I have seen in years.”

Consensus is Tuesday night’s 13-inning marathon was an absolute stunner. As far as thrilling games are concerned, the August 30 game last season against the Mets (coming back off Wagner in the eighth and ninth) stacks alongside, but this game had absolutely everything from both sides. Point a gun to my head and yeah, this was the most exciting Phillies game of the last three or four years.

A couple things to pick out from this game:

Jamie Moyer: As I wrote in the recap, Moyer seemed poised to blow up. He had been so money lately, but against a hot Mets offense, a patient Mets offense (at least early), he just seemed doomed. The Jose Reyes leadoff triple was confirmation to me it would be a long (or short, I suppose) night for Moyer.

Blown call: The umpires got it wrong with the grounder-that-wasn’t off Fernando Tatis’ bat in the third. David Wright should’ve been out and Tatis should’ve had been at first. Instead, Tatis (I don’t know how he does it) hit one out.

The Bullpen: With that though, what a job by the bullpen. I mean, wow. The entire bullpen let up just one run in 10 innings. Off five hits. Clay Condrey gave up the run, but boy did he pitch well. Not to mention his double to lead off the fourth. Huge kudos to Ryan Madson, who pulled it together for two fine innings deep in the game. And JC Romero did great having to face both lefties and righties. Also, how about Scott Eyre, who was fantastic with a few strikeouts and some really nasty breaking stuff?

Jimmy Rollins: Rollins was off the charts. He’s the fourth player in the last 50 years with five hits, three steals and a home run in the same game. His swagger is back. His freewheeling play is back. Boy, if he can keep this attitude up, the hits and runs will come, and this offense will be absolutely fine.

Pat Burrell: Tough break for Burrell, who had an 0-fer with the golden sombrero. Maybe he sits out Friday in Chicago (I’d start him against Johan Santana, absolutely). He’s been pressing a little lately, despite his couple hits in the three-hole.

Eric Bruntlett: When Bruntlett came up with two outs in the ninth, I thought “No way we’re winning this game here. I just have to hope for a single or walk.” But what a clutch hit for Brunt, who despite being a very light hitter, is a nice utility/25th man for this team. Then he singled in extra innings. Credit Charlie Manuel for pushing the right buttons and giving him the RBI opportunity. (Reminds me: It’s amazing how the unsung guys step up against the Mets, a la So Taguchi in the same spot a month ago).

Jayson Werth: I love Werth, what he brings to this team. He went 3-for-5, walked twice and stole a base. Pretty lost with Rollins’ big game, but just as important. Funny how all of a sudden the Phils can have two flat-out scary 1-2 combos at the top of the lineup (Rollins/Utley) and the bottom of the lineup (Victorino/Werth). It’s as if the top half can take care of the big hits, while the bottom half — anchored by Pedro Feliz and Chris Coste — can do situational things.

Carlos Ruiz: Not that he had a great game, but what an unselfish move to accept playing third base. Had to have been his first time ever, or close to it. When things like that happen, you know it’s a good game.

Defense: A lot of great defense — not amazing plays, but strong, sound defense that kept the Mets from scoring. Victorino had a couple nice catches in big spots; Werth made the huge throw beating Wright; Howard made a couple real heady plays on tough grounders and liners; Dobbs made a great play at third to start a double play, as well. Every play counts.

“Bandbox” I had to suffer through SNY broadcasting tonight, and Keith Hernandez wouldn’t stop with citing Citizens Bank Park as a bandbox, and the reason the Phils can always win — blah, blah, blah. Okay, so Citizens is a hitter’s park, and does influence a lot of homers, but when you can’t get yours off Phils pitching for nine innings … well, you have no room to talk.

The Fans: What an atmosphere. Listening to the 1210 AM driving home from work, the Mets were scoring and their fans were loud and proud. It grated me. But watching SNY later, as the Phils were rallying — boy, what a change. Hernandez — in his one good observation — said it was the loudest crowd he had ever heard. The Mets crew remarked how the fans were hanging on every pitch. Good to see these games bring out the best in the fans.

Again, just to reiterate, losing these two wouldn’t have been the end of the world, but oh, I’d be an idiot if I were to think these two games weren’t big games. Tuesday night was unreal. One for the ages.

Avatar of Tim Malcolm

About Tim Malcolm

Tim Malcolm has written 1947 articles on Phillies Nation.

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    What I don’t understand about the CBP being called a “bandbox”….. is the opponent hitting in a different park when they are at the plate? How is it an advantage??? I understand the crowd and playing the corners and stuff like that, but the distance to hit one out is the same for both teams.. the ball carries however it will carry (im pretty sure it doesn’t know which team is hitting it..)

  • Posts: 0 Richie Allen

    I agree with you DON M.
    .its just an excuse to make the Mets feel better.they wont blame themselves or say the phils deserved the win..even Pedro mentioned it in the post game interview

  • Posts: 0 Richie Allen

    Also….Last night was the best game of the year ..and most bloggers on both sides were stating something like “good game ,doesnt matter who wins”.
    But ,there is always that nasty element who cant take a loss..
    Hey,its just a game.

  • Posts: 0 that guy

    What do they say when they suck at Petco? “Anything is possible when you play in this Great Plains”

  • Posts: 0 rollinsright!!

    nobody is making exuses man, you guys won and deserved to win…”bandbox” is his way of calling it a hitters ballpark, and the phillies know how to play at their home….if you were listeinng to SNY you would have heard gary cohen mention that you guys know how to play every corner of that field. so nobodys making excuses…., dont take it personal fellas, their not trying badmouth you guys….you guys are the best for today and right now, so be happy, celebrate while you can….

  • Posts: 0 Geoff

    keith hernandez is the pits. im going to NY this weekend. maybe id sneak a peek at a mets game to see what they were doing on TV, but not with that buffoon hernandez running his mouth.

  • Posts: 0 Lewisauce

    I watched the entire game, and I hate to flip-flop so much, but I’m starting to believe again. I almost feel like it’s late May again (or Sept. ’07!), and the Phils are destined for good things. Maybe not great, World-Series things, but good things. And it’s hard to feel down after a win like this over the main rivals with the division lead on the line.

    Both bullpens are exhausted, so it’s going to come down to the starters tonight. Which means I don’t expect us to win. But hey, Lidge only worked one inning, so if Kendrick can get through eight … (yeah, I’m dreaming).

    And when you talk about “game of the year” or “defining moment” or any of that stuff, this game has to be considered. The only problem is that there have been so many “defining moments” this year: Taguchi’s pinch hit double a month ago; Dobbs’ 3-run blast a few weeks back which lead to Tim’s headline of “Dobbs’ blast saves Hamels, Phils, fans, season”; Vic gunning down that dude at the plate in the ninth inning back in May (I forget who the runner was … I think it was against the Braves, though). Not to mention all the adversity: the slumps; “Boo? Fuck you!”; “frontrunners;” Howard’s strikeouts; Ruiz’ struggles; the Utley hip; Jimmy’s two benchings; etc.

    Damn, this is a riveting season.

    Go Phils!

  • Posts: 0 Geoff

    Im so happy that jroll is playing well. not only does it help us win but it also boosts his trade value.

  • Posts: 0 Squonk64

    Ruiz at 3rd was a bit of a head-scratcher. He’s played less than a handful of games at 1B and OF, combined, in the minors, and never third base. What makes it really interesting is Chris Coste played almost as many times at third (156) as he did behind the plate (164) during his years in the minors. Coste was the Phils starting AAA thrid baseman in 2005. If you are bringing in a “third baseman for an inning,” why Ruiz at third and not Coste? You can always move Coste to catcher after Ruiz gets subbed for in the next inning. Everything turned out well, but as I said, a bit of a head scratcher.

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    I didn’t mean that like as defending our great stadium, or anyone attacking it.. but it is what it is.. both teams have to play there… so, small or not.. both teams get to pitch, hit, run, and play defense there.

    The corners and the alley’s make for some exciting doubles and triples too!.. I think its a pretty good ballpark to watch a game in.. The Left-Center alley is awesome because it goes way deeper before it cuts back in for that cutout.. anytime someone hits a ball to that part you aren’t sure until the last second if its a homer or not

  • Posts: 0 rollinsright!!

    lmao….thats funny!!

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    Geoff… please… no more trade Rollins comments today? We get it.. you want him traded.. but give it a rest for a little while man

  • Posts: 0 Geoff

    i know i was saying that to be funny.

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    I think because they were definitely pulling Ruiz after that inning, why not let Coste settle in at catcher instead of an inning at third, and then shift him..

    If it back-fired we would have complained, but it was a non-issue, they took a chance and it worked out for them

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    I would LOVE to know what Jimmy thinks about the fans sticking it out last night even with the team down 7-0…

  • Posts: 0 rollinsright!!

    your stadium is HOT, im not going to lie…even Hernandez said he would have loved to play there….
    you guys cant trade rollins, i dont care what he says about you guys…the guy is dumb nice…he’s not reyes : ) but the guy can flat out play….ill take him and put him at second if you guys dont want him

  • Posts: 0 Geoff

    you want rollins at second? ok deal…give us wright or santana.

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    i STILL don’t think Reyes is better…. from the SS position, you want the better DEFENSIVE guy.. unless he is HANDS DOWN better on offense, like Hanley Ramirez. In a year or two, Reyes might be better, but I don’t think he’s there yet.

    BUT… hell of a play he made on Ruiz’s ball up the middle last night, it saved the game for the Mets!!

    AND.. I think that people who said Victorino is BETTER than Carlos Beltran are on crack.. I hate the guy, but Beltran is one of the best players in baseball for the past 5 years…Victorino is one of the best players in baseball for the past 5 weeks..

  • Posts: 0 Geoff

    hanley ramirez may be the best offensive shortstop ive seen in a very long time, but hes not really good defensively. a trade off i guess.

  • Posts: 0 Geoff

    hes not better than beltran. i said beltran is WAY overrated. and that anymore he isnt really that much better than victorino when he plays like this. but the guy acted like victorino was nothing compared to beltran, which simply isnt true. im trying to say that the gap is closing.

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    David Wright is only 25 years old… that makes me sick to my stomach that we’ll have to deal with him for so many years to come still

  • Posts: 0 NC Jason

    Tim ~ Great recap and just another quick note about the blown call – the third base ump who called the ball was not even supposed to make the call. Before the ball reaches the bag it is the Homeplate ump’s call. Not only was the call wrong but the ump who called it was wrong as well.

    Either way – great game. This past Christmas on Comcast they showed the game that the Phils beat the Mets (burrells HR and the ensuing runs). This year they have to show this game! I wish I was there!

  • Posts: 0 Phil

    Did anyone see Wright’s post game comments? They were very classy.

  • Posts: 0 rollinsright!!

    not happening….wright hasent even entered his prime, which is scary…and santana is just…well santana….ill give you ollie…he’s a mini santana….actually when he’s on his A game, he can be better then santana

  • Posts: 0 Phil

    Ollie is a free agent. How about Feliz, Rollins, and Carrasco for Wright.

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    He’s got a LONG way to go before we can say that Victorino is close to as good as Beltran… like two months ago when he wasn’t getting on base, we were all open to a trade possibility.. most of us didn’t want him traded, but if it brought back X in return..etc.. Now I can’t imagine where this team would be without Victorino.. but I’d love to see him carry his play through the end of the season.

    I was making arguements before about how we really didn’t miss Rowand because of what Victorino can do.. BUT.. he needs to keep his level of play up, which is hard to do for a lot of guys (including Beltran.. and Reyes.. and Rollins..)

  • Posts: 0 rollinsright!!

    i dont think beltran is overated….i think he’s very good, he’s slumping but even when he slumps he’s still a gold glove centerfielder, and rarely does he make a mistake on the bases….i just think he gets to much slack becuase of his contract…but look at carlos lee, hes not the fielder beltran is, making the same money, and on the DL for the rest of the year. I like Hanley too….but not trying to sound bias….but look at reyes and hanley’s stats right now…reyes is leading in a lot of the catagories…

  • Posts: 0 Squonk64

    BTW, Tim– you need to fix the padding around the picture at the top. The text from the first paragraph is running into the picture on IE 7. Looks OK on Firefox and Safari, it seems to be solely an IE issue.

  • Posts: 0 Mike M.

    Well actually Citizen’s Bank has been right in the middle this year for runs and homers, coming in at 15th. Although some may claim it’s a bandbox, they really have no argument this year because the ballpark factor ranks at 1.002 meaning there’s a .2 percent change in scoring due to the ballpark configurations, which is basically nothing.

  • Posts: 0 rollinsright!!

    what jeter is to the yanks, and utley is to the phils…wright is to the mets, he’s not going anywhere anytime soon…he’s the Mets Spokesman…

  • Posts: 0 Phil

    Utley isn’t our spokesman. Rollins is, unfourtanately.

  • Posts: 0 Phil

    Utley is actually the exact opposite of our spokesman. He doesn’t like to talk to the media at all. Wright is only your spokesperson because he’s one of the few guys whose 1st language is English. haha

  • Posts: 0 rollinsright!!

    lolol…rollins is nice man, he just speaks his mind which some players are unfourtnaley scared to do….

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    Phil… where is the Wright article, which paper, or website or whatever??

    I think Beltran has the same problem that Abreu, and JD Drew have… it comes so easy to him that it often looks like he isn’t hustling, isn’t trying, etc.. he’s not a scrappy player like Utley, or Victorino, which is what we sometimes fall too much in love with in Philadelphia

    But I would rather have Beltran than Victorino on this team, as I think all baseball fans would agree with..

    BUT.. Victorino is a great fit to this lineup and the clubhouse etc..

  • Posts: 0 rollinsright!!

    low blow brother….everybody in tha clubhouse talks english….its just wrigh’s everybody’s favriote color and people like when your softspoken….he’s what they call media savy

  • Posts: 0 Geoff

    its been victorinos play that has allowed and inspired people like jimmy rollins to get their heads back in the right place and play baseball again.

  • Posts: 0 rollinsright!!

    i totally agree with you Don M….but the fans are starting to realize that Beltran’s heart is always on Baseball….he just doesnt show his emotion, but he makes the game look easy for him….i never doubt that guys heart…

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    Yea, but overall, the Mets SUCK.. so ….

  • Posts: 1650 Tim Malcolm

    Avatar of Tim Malcolm

    Squonk: Better? I added two breaks.

  • Posts: 0 rollinsright!!

    yeap mets suck right now dude…

  • Posts: 0 Phil

    Don M it was on one of the Comcast sports shows this morning.

    rollinsright I was being facetious dude.

  • Posts: 0 rollinsright!!

    its all good brother

  • Posts: 0 Todd

    Geoff, that was really funny… got me to laugh out loud at work. solid.

  • Posts: 0 Fran

    REMEMBER SEPTEMBER!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Posts: 0 BoricuaPhilsFan

    I had the pleasure of watching the Mets broadcast as well. The Mets fans know we are passionate and can create a homefield advantage unlike any other. They can talk bandbox all they want — Fenway is a hitter’s park, Yankee Stadium is a hitter’s park on one hand; Dodger Stadium and their no-winning-anything-selves stands as a pitcher’s park — we play all nine innings and never quit!

    The part is — Mets fans are typical NY/NJ area fans — a presumptive corwd, thinking they are entitled. They pick from 11 major sports clubs and assume they will or must win for the good of America. So that the Phils have their number and are their rivals eats at them.

    How could Team 10,000 own them? How could they lose a division to the Phillies?

    Here comes a fun, great September.

  • Posts: 0 rollinsright!!

    thats not true, im from brooklyn, and trust me, brooklyn, queens and the bronx have a truckload of met fans…TRUE met fans, but then theirs those yuppi types from the burbs that mess it up for other met fans.

  • Posts: 579 Brian Michael

    Avatar of Brian Michael

    yikes, i see what you mean in IE7. ill have a look.

  • Posts: 0 Eb

    Don M…I have never understood why people get on CBP. Isnt it an advantage for every hitter. I ahve friends in NY and they say that is all the Mets announcers due is complain about it being a Bandbox.

    Note…I jsut looked at the dimensions for Citifield, and it is almost as small as CBP, i am tlaking like 3 feet larger in areas

  • Posts: 0 rollinsright!!

    nobody’s complaining about CBP…lolol….their just saying its a hitters ballpark…in other word, no lead is safe in that ballpark…thats what their implying…

  • Posts: 0 Bonezy

    The question I have right now is, they had Kendrick warming up to pitch yesterday. Does that mean he will not pitch tonight? And if he is going to pitch tonight, is it going to affect him?

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