Friday, May 2, 2008

Phils Won't Let Ex-Teammate Be Hero in Come-from-Behind Win

The Phillies pulled off a dramatic 6-5 win against San Francisco, Pat Burrell making himself the hero of the day with a dramatic two run home run in the tenth inning off of the Giants' formidable closer Brian Wilson to allow his team to come from behind and walk off with the win. Victory was only made sweeter by the fact that the lead that the Phillies had to come from behind against was created by their own erstwhile center-fielder Aaron Rowand, whose tenth-inning solo home run against J. C. Romero -- a chink in otherwise almost spotless armor so far this season -- gave San Francisco a 5-4 advantage.

Rowand had received an ovation at the beginning of the game, but his offense later proved that returning players on new teams are appreciated only as long as they don't contribute to a home-team loss. Burrell's homer was his first walk-off since 2002, and might cause Charlie Manuel to start to question his usual policy of removing Burrell from the game in later innings to be replaced by a stronger defensive player. This is especially true since Burrell's defence seems to have improved lately, and this games proves as well as any that a powerful bat is a valuable commodity late in the game.

Kyle Kendrick pitched acceptably, giving up three earned runs in six innings, and Charlie Manuel chose an appropriate time to pull him. Kendrick will probably continue to give the Phillies decent but unremarkable starts, and they need to capitalize on these chances to win.

In other non-news, Chase Utley continued producing like mad, with two runs and two RBI on two hits, and Ryan Howard continued slumping horribly. One can only hope that he's been starting to take his lack of production as seriously as the fans are at this point, as his low numbers are starting to stretch disturbingly past the normal mark for a slump.

While it was a game of mixed feelings that saw an early lead seem to slowly slip away, tonight's game had one of the most exciting finishes in a long while and did a lot towards proving Philadelphia's tenacity this season.

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