As I watched what transpired in the bottom of the 4th inning of the Phillies-Mets game last night, I immediately flashed back to Game 2 of the 2008 NLDS against the Milwaukee Brewers. It wasn’t the playoffs, but it was eerily similar.
If you remember, notoriously terrible-hitting pitcher Brett Myers worked a nine-pitch walk from one of the best hurlers in the game, CC Sabathia… probably one of the most exciting and memorable bases on balls in Phillies history. Jimmy Rollins was walked on four pitches to load the bases. Shane Victorino strolled up next and deposited a pitch into the leftfield stands for a grand slam. The virtually unstoppable Sabathia would only go 3.2 innings, the Phillies would get the W, yadda yadda yadda, World Series Champions.
Back to 2010.
The Mets are in first place. A win would not only give the series win and control of the top of the NL East, but a much-needed confidence boost. After losing their last two series, and dropping the first game to the Mets 9-1, Roy Halladay pitched his third complete game and second shutout of the season. The bats came alive again, pounding the Mets for a 10-0 victory to tie the series.
Now they would face one the NL’s top pitchers in Johan Santana. The Phillies would counter with Jamie “this is where I am legally obligated to mention how old he is” Moyer. Sunday night baseball. Prime time. A hated rivalry. Beautiful.
Four home runs between the two teams led to a 5-2 score. Advantage Mets. Bottom of the 4th *dun dun dunnnn!*. With two outs, Santana unintentionally intentionally walked Carlos Ruiz to get to Moyer. He may sport the usual sub-.200 pitcher average, but Moyer is an intelligent hitter. With the crowd getting more rabid with each pitch, Moyer worked a walk to bring in a run to make the score 5-4. Shades of 2008. An extremely loud walk.
Shane Victorino entered the batter’s box, and just like two years ago, he smashed the ball into the frenzied crowd in the leftfield stands, clearing the bases. 8-4. Two batters later, Chase Utley would destroy a ball into rightfield. Those poor folks had been neglected all night. He was doing his part to appeal to the fans. 10-4. Santana to the showers. The Phillies would tack on one more run and the Mets never even made an effort to get back into it. They were on the canvas and they weren’t getting up.
And just like that, for the moment, there is joy Phillyville.
Starter Joe Blanton returns from the DL today to face the St. Louis Cardinals in the first of a four-game series at Citizens Bank Park… Jimmy Rollins is still feeling pain in his right calf and looks to be back by the end of May… Antonio Bastardo was sent to AAA to make room for Blanton on the roster.
About the Author
Written by Bryan Sargent
Bryan Sargent is a lifelong Phillies fan, currently residing in the least hospitable city for such a person as himself, New York City. This coming January he will be attending Phillies Phantasy Camp in Clearwater, FL. He is currently documenting the entire process on his blog (http://www.bryansargent.com). You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow on Twitter @BTSargent.