Thank goodness I didn't push the power button on the remote when Chris Coste hit what should have been the game ending pop-up, because I would have missed one helluva finish to the game. Braves second baseman Kelly Johnson drops the ball allowing Eric Bruntlett to score, but did throw Pedro Feliz out at the plate, thus ending the top of the 9th with the score tied 2-2. Tom Gordon worked a scoreless frame in the bottom of the 9th, then magic-maker Shane Victorino stole the show in the 10th. Chris Snelling doubles, Jimmy Rollins sacrifice bunts, Vic triples (2nd of the game), Chase Utley doubles...Phils up 4-2. Then in the bottom of the 10th Brad Lidge surrenders what looks to be a game-tying single, but Vic guns the 2nd runner down at home plate to save the game and Phils triumph in the series opener in what is going to be just one tough game in a series of tough games. Starting with last night, the Phils are set to play 35 games before the All-Star break and every single club they face has a record of .500 or better (thanks scheduling geniuses!).
That truly was a great game last night. Jamie Moyer pitched well, Tim Hudson was dominating, Phils bullpen was good, Pat Burrell and Vic threw men out at the plate, home plate umpire was getting bitched at from both dugouts, Brian McCann showed why he's one of the best young catchers in baseball...just a great game, and made all the greater because the Phils won and gained ground in the NL East (now up 3.5 on the Fish).
*Bobby Cox is a fun manager to watch. He's the smartest manager I've ever had the pleasure of viewing on the diamond, and he really goes off when he thinks an ump makes a questionable call.
*Jayson Werth may be activated from the DL today just in time to be slotted into the starting lineup as the Braves toss lefty Jo-Jo Reyes at us tonight. Poor Chris Snelling is likely ticketed to Lehigh Valley. Snelling has sparked two victories with pinch-hits this season, 1 against the Astros and the other being just last night.
*Run differential is a stat that many use to judge the true effectiveness of a team, because it takes into a account for offensive, pitching, and defense. Through 63 games the Phils have outscored their opponents 332-260 for a run differential of 72 runs...wow!