Sunday, May 4, 2008

Phils Offense Comes Up Big Late Again

Sunday's rubber match between the Phillies and the Giants featured the Phillies true ace Cole Hamels and the Giants best pitcher Tim Lincecum. The Phillies offense has struggled through this series as they have through the rest of the season to score runs that haven't come off the long ball. Leading the league in that category with 47 going into Sunday, they needed to find a way to play small ball and put some runs ton the board.

Both pitchers came out smoking the ball as it took until the end of the 3rd inning for either team to make a dent. Shane Victorino led off the inning by reaching 1st on a throwing error, Eric Bruntlett followed that up with a ground ball single into right. After a 1 out fielders choice by Ryan Howard, Pat Burrell struck again and hit a line drive double to left bringing home Victorino and Bruntlett to make the score 2-0.

It would only be a half inning later though when the Giants offense cracked Hamels. Emmanuel Burriss led off with a line drive single to right, three batters and two outs later, Jose Castillo lined one to center bringing home Burriss. Rich Aurilla doubled on a line drive to center, bringing home Castillo and tying up the game at 2.

Just an inning later the Phils would take back the lead when Victorino led off the inning again with a single, and Eric Bruntlett reached on the Giants second error of the day. Lincecum walked Howard to load up the bases and during Pat Burrell at bat, threw a wild pitch bringing home Victorino. After an intentional walk to Burrell, Geoff Jenkins hit a sac-fly to bring home Bruntlett to extend the Phils lead to 4-2.

The top of the sixth, the Giants struck again, when after a one out single by Aaron Rowand, Rich Aurilla hit his third home run of the season to tie the game back up at 4.

Both offenses took the seventh inning off, but were right back at it in the eighth when after a two out single by Aaron Rowand, Jose Castillo tripled off a ball over Geoff Jenkins head bringing home Rowand and taking the lead for the Giants for the first time in the game.

Unfortunately for the Giants though, Carlos Ruiz was not up for losing the rubber match, and in the bottom of the eighth, hit his first home run of the season over the left field wall to tie the game up once again at 5.

Charlie Manuel brought in Brad Lidge in the top of the ninth of a tie game for the second night this series and luckily it panned out as Lidge held the game to a tie.

In the bottom of the ninth, Pat Burrell and Ryan Howard drew two out walks. Geoff Jenkins came to the plate and hit a slow rolling ball to Eugenio Velez who missed the play and on the third error of the game, Ryan Howard scored from second winning the game for the Phils.

The Phillies head on the road on Monday to face the MLB best Arizona Diamondbacks and look to hold their lead atop the NL East with a record of 18-14.

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