Welcome to the Phillies Nation Top 25 Moments of 2010, as voted on by the staff of this fine blog.
At Wrigley Field, Cole Hamels and Randy Wells were tossing a pitcher’s duel. Hamels finished the night after seven strong innings, allowing only one earned run. The lone run came on a suicide squeeze, laid down by Ryan Theriot, which scored rookie Starlin Castro.
Hamels was solid, but the offense had difficulties scoring. A lack of run support was very common in 2010. Then again, so were late inning rallies.
With Carlos Marmol closing, Greg Dobbs, Wilson Valdez, and Chad Durbin due up, the game appeared to be over. Dobbs popped up. Brian Schneider pinched hit for Valdez and drew a walk. Ross Gload, who substituted for Durbin, also drew a walk. All of a sudden, the Phillies had two men on base, including a runner in scoring position. Down by one run, there was certainly hope.
Marmol was extremely erratic, but struck out Shane Victorino for the second out. One out away from defeat, the Phillies had to rely on Placido Polanco, who was fresh off the disabled list. Polanco came through like he did so many times in 2010, delivering a game-tying RBI single. Schnieder looked to be a dead duck at the plate, but thankfully Geovanny Soto could not handle the ball.
Marmol’s problems did not end there as he failed to locate the strike zone. A wild pitch enabled Gload to score from third and give the Phillies a lead. Marmol walked Jimmy Rollins, Ryan Howard, and Jayson Werth before finally being removed for James Russell.
Raul Ibanez finished off the scoring with a RBI single of his own to make it 4-1. Brad Lidge wasn’t going to let this one slip like Marmol, as he converted the save.
The comeback against the Cubs was just one of many late-inning rallies for the Phillies. Their never-say-die attitude showed that there was no reason to give up on them. There were many nail-biters, but there were also shocking comebacks like this one. It may not have been the prettiest win, but it was good enough for #23 on our list.