Phillies Escape the Bay with a Win on Wacky Afternoon

Posted by Jonathan Fogg, Wed, April 28, 2010 08:04 PM | Comments: 76
2010 Game Recaps, Posts

The Phillies’ 7-6, 11-inning win over the Giants today is a perfect example of why you can’t ever write off the Phillies – and why you can’t draw any solid conclusions from early-season results.

What do you learn from a game like this? Very little that you didn’t know already. The Phillies’ bullpen is still riddled with questions, and Ryan Madson still can’t consistently close out games. The offense has yet to shake its recent hiccups (though maybe the adrenaline-igniting ninth-inning rally against Giants ace Tim Lincecum and closer Brian Wilson will be the catalyst).

In the end, it’s just too early in the season to etch anything in stone based on a few April series. If there is one thing clear, it’s that the Phillies need to see if Brad Lidge can reassume the closer role, because Madson has proved time and again that he can’t handle it.

Though it ended up as a struggle of endurance, the game began as a matchup of Lincecum and Cole Hamels. Using primarily two pitches – a four-seam fastball and a split-fingered fastball – Lincecum buzzed through the Phillies’ lineup without much difficulty, just as teammates Jonathan Sanchez and Todd Wellemeyer had done the previous two days.

Even though Lincecum allowed a fifth-inning opposite-field home run to Ryan Howard, for 8 1/3 innings he avoided putting multiple runners on base – something his counterpart, Cole Hamels, couldn’t do. Hamels, who to his credit had 10 strikeouts and at times showed faint signs of being a dominant pitcher, loaded the bases in the sixth inning with score tied at 1. Then he did something dominant pitchers don’t do: He walked in the go-ahead run. After Phils manager Charlie Manuel left a clearly struggling Hamels out on the mound, Edgar Renteria followed with a two-run single.

The Phillies were quiet until the ninth, when Giants manager Bruce Bochy removed Lincecum after a one-out walk to Shane Victorino. After Chase Utley singled and Ryan Howard walked, Jayson Werth fouled off several pitches before dropping a bloop millimeters inside the right-field line, clearing the bases and tying the score. A fan dressed in Phillies garb nearly committed a monstrous mental error by reaching out to grab the ball (which would have turned the hit into a two-run ground-rule double), but luckily for the Phillies – and for him – the ball eluded his grasp.

In the 10th, the Phils took the lead when backup catcher Brian Schneider motored home on a wild pitch, but Madson allowed a leadoff double and promptly blew the save, No. 2 of the season.

But the Phils, as they have done so many times under Manuel, punched right back. Wilson Valdez ripped a ball into the left-field corner that barely cleared the glove of Eugenio Velez, scoring Raul Ibanez. Velez had an easier play seconds later on a fly ball by Victorino, but the ball hit the heel of Velez’s glove and bounded away as Valdez raced home for a 7-5 lead.

On a wild afternoon, the Phils wouldn’t walk away with a win that easily. The clouds opened, and showers started to fall at AT&T Park. Then Nelson Figueroa took the mound, and hits – and more weird bounces – began to drop as well. Only Schneider’s whirling catch-and-tag after an errant throw by Howard saved Figueroa from the Phillies’ second blown save of the afternoon – and helped Figueroa secure his first career save.

If one certainty emerged from the wild afternoon by the bay, it was this: Heading home for a challenging 10-game stretch against the Mets, Cardinals and Braves, the Phillies needed a win – any kind of win – and they got it.

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About Jonathan Fogg

Jonathan Fogg has written 23 articles on Phillies Nation.

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    someone WAY earlier in the post said that Hamels looked tired late in the game…

    That wasn’t really the case.. his fastball was sitting at 93mph (maybe the gun was juiced, but thats what Halladay was hitting too)…. but Hamels was hitting the corner with his fastball

    it was his changeup that kept drifting away to Right-handed hitters… a tough atbat by one of the Giants that I’d never heard of, the guy fouled off 3-4 pitches and worked a walk.. and then a couple hits that found the holes and knocked some runs in.

    The result wasn’t what we wanted, but that was the most dominant that Hamels has looked, to me, in a while

  • Posts: 0 The Original Chuck P

    I saw Werth misplay a ball early in the game that got completely knocked down by the wind… it looked like our guys were misreading the ball a bit.

    By the way… gotta give credit to Howard/Schneider for the game saver in the 11th. Howard made a solid thrown in a pressure situation and Schneider played it perfectly. I didn’t think it was an out until I saw the replay. He held his glove there and made Fat Panda go through his glove to get to the plate. A lot of guys would have swiped and missed… or not gotten there at all.

    Also… I didn’t think Valdez had it in him to hit a ball that hard.

    I think it’s interesting that the unsung heroes from a very entertaining game were a lot of role players and Howard. Werth prob deserves the Ashburn but I would agree that he didn’t have a tremendous game by any stretch.

  • Posts: 0 The Original Chuck P

    Thanks for the recap of those middle innings… I was watching at work early on and then at home later but missed the bad stuff in between. From my vantage point, it was a great game… but it’s pretty obvious that it wasn’t all good.

  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    I wouldn’t call the Schneider play “luck” by any means….because he totally busted his a$$. But…..how many times have you seen a guy hit the catcher’s mitt on his way to getting a hand on the plate??

    In my opinion, Brian Schneider saved the game.

  • Posts: 0 The Original Chuck P

    The phillies are the bestest ever! they’re going to kick met ass!! PHILLIES NUMBER 1!!!!

  • Posts: 0 bfo_33

    mikemike, I’ll have to wait to read the troll’s responses until Monday. I have to sit in front of a computer too much during the work week. Once home, I’m anti-tech (wife and kids use our home computer, I don’t go near it). The only technolgy I utilize on weekends is a refrigerator and a TV (if the Phils or Eagles are on). Besides that, I’d be perfectly happy without electricity.
    Niese vs KK Fri – this is the key game (rubber match in advance). If KK can go 6, then empty the pen (shouldn’t need it Sat). Supposed to be hot Sat, but will have to score early, shadows should hit @ the 4th inning. Could be a 2 hr, 2-0 game. I wouldn’t say that Sun is a gimme for Santana, but on paper, certainly favors the Mets.

  • Posts: 0 The Original Chuck P

    Someone’s a douche… ghosting my name.

  • Posts: 0 The Original Chuck P

    This site has been a little slow with updates lately; Lidge added to the roster and Bastardo optioned to AAA.

    Given the fact that Romero might not be 100%, I’m a little bit surprised that Bastardo was the one to go but I don’t know who I expected to go, either. Maybe Herndon? I wonder if they’re going to try to mold Bastardo back into a starter… I actually like Bastardo.

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    They can’t take Herndon off the MLB roster without having to offer him back to the Angels first

    it would also cost them money (not sure how much).. but they like him as a hard throwing, ground ball pitcher ….

    Bastardo sucks, and has the minor league option available

    The interesting thing will be what happens when Blanton is ready.. I guess Nelson Fig gets sent packing?

  • Posts: 0 The Original Chuck P

    This site is ridiculously slow with the updates…man! COME ON! get with the updates!!!!!! I recommend everyone here to just go to philaphans.com…its much better than THIS TRASH OF A SITE!

  • Posts: 0 Keith E

    ignore that ghost, they don’t exist!
    Wild and fun game yesterday. It ended just as we ran out of beer! Love those Phils.
    GO PHILS!!!

  • Posts: 0 WFC010

    I would actually like to see the Phillies hold on to Nelson, especially since neither Kendrick or Moyer inspire the most confidence anymore.

    Always good to have some decent backup options for 5th starter, and Figgy aint an ace…but he’s a decent guy to keep around as either a starter or bullpen guy.

  • Posts: 0 mikemike

    I think kendrick goes down and they keep nelson, He isnt great but is a veteran and can get guys out without his best stuff, kendrick cant. Boy how good is lincecum. he is unreal and not a big kid, great location and stuff.

  • Posts: 0 mikemike

    I believe you must offer herdon back for half what you payed.

  • Posts: 0 Brooks

    We ran out of beer?

    Good timing Phillies!

  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    I like Nelson Fig Tree, also. You can’t have enough experience on a pitching staff. The guy can start, do long relief and probably could if you needed him too.

    Lincecum is the real deal. The kid is downright nasty!

    Herndon, being a ground ball pitcher could turn out to be a real asset for the Phillies if he can iron out the kinks. I’d like to see them try to keep him is possible.

  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    ^ probably could CLOSE if you needed him to.

  • Posts: 0 WFC010

    Can you guys imagine if we had drafted Lincecum?

    It’s bad enough that I find myself rooting for him…against any team but the Phillies.

    He’s likely to start falling apart eventually ala Pedro, but he’ll remain an absolutely dominant force for another half decade or so.

  • Posts: 0 Thirteen

    Schneider DEFINITELY saved the game. A truly outstanding improvisational play by the catcher.

    And Moyer has actually been a good 5th starter. 6 innings each time out, ERA in the low 5s, well above league-average for a #5. If Jamie didn’t bring a Santa sack of intangibles with him, I’d agree he’s a bit overpaid, but considering what he DOES bring I think the Phils have gotten a good value on his contract (assuming he continues to pitch like this for the full year).

  • Posts: 0 mikemike

    Wfc mostly all teams passed on him because they thought he was too small, and would hurt himself with his delivery, did you notice how he reall extends when he lets the pitch go, so you see thet scouts were wrong.on this kid

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    who is this new mikemike … this new guy has actual things to say, instead of just bashing the team nonstop.. I like it !!

  • Posts: 0 Phillies #1


  • Posts: 0 George

    It’s still possible that Lincecum will blow his arm out in the near future. He’s been worth a lot his first few years, but long term there are still those who think he won’t last. That’s not to say that the scouts are wrong or right, just to point out that it’s still a little early to know.

  • Posts: 0 NateB

    Most exciting Phils game I ever attended! Giants fans were on my back the whole game with their brooms, but it was awesome to have the last laugh!

  • Posts: 0 MetsFan

    Dont puke on any little girls tonight
    Come Get Some!

  • Posts: 0 WFC010

    Pedro and Timmy have some things in common, being that they are both small framed guys whom absolutely dominate despite everyone thinking they would never make it.

    The downside to that is that much like Pedro, I expect Timmy to start having injury problems going into his 30′s and is unlikely to still be in Baseball by the time he reaches his late 30′s.

    But for the next half a decade or so, Tim is going to be either winning or be a top contender for Cy Young awards every year.

    Sometimes you just have to wonder “what if?” we had drafted certain guys instead of others.

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