Sunday, May 4, 2008

More late heroics as Phillies beat Giants

(AP Photo/Tom Mihalek)
For a team that was supposed to be terrible this season, the San Francisco Giants proved to be tough to beat for the Phillies. On Friday night, the Phils needed a Pat Burrell bomb in the 10th inning to win. On Saturday, the Giants were able to edge out a win of their own in the 10th inning. Today's game looked like it was going to go into extra innings as well until Geoff Jenkins drove in Ryan Howard in the bottom of the 9th inning to give the Phils a 6-5 win.

With runners on first and second in the bottom of the 9th, Jenkins hit a roller to Giants second baseman Eugenio Velez who couldn't come up with the ball and it allowed Howard to score all the way from second. It wasn't the prettiest way to end the game, but the Phillies will take the W and remain atop the National League East for another day.

The game started out as a pitching duel between two young stars, Cole Hamels and Tim Lincecum. Each pitcher looked dominant in stretches but also gave up too many big hits. Their stat lines ended up looking nearly identical, with both pitchers going 6 innings, striking out 5 and giving up 4 runs, although Lincecum didn't have any earned runs due to poor Giants defense.

Pat Burrell continued his hot hitting, picking up 2 doubles and walking twice. Ryan Howard didn't strike out at all in the game, an amazing feat for him, and drew three walks, including a key one in the 9th that led to him scoring the winning run.

It wasn't a series the Phillies dominated, but they still took 2 out of 3 against a scrappy Giants team. The Phils will have to step up their game as they go on the road to play the best team in baseball, the Arizona Diamondbacks, in a four game series that starts tomorrow. Jimmy Rollins is supposed to be coming back at some point this week against Arizona which should help make it a great series between two first place teams.

Video of the game winning run via the CW:

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