Juan Pierre helped the Phillies to a 16-1 route of the New York Mets last night with a career-high 5 hits.
For the Phillies, this season will be a memorable one. Last night’s 16-1 drubbing of the hapless New York Mets will be one of the highlights. As the season winds down, though, it becomes more and more apparent that the Phillies will probably not make the playoffs.
Last week there was a discernible buzz pulsing through the city of Philadelphia as the Phillies pulled within 3 games of the second Wild Card spot. That buzz took a major hit when the Phillies lost 3 of 4 to the Houston Astros, a team that’s even worse than the Mets. That series may very well end up being the Phillies low point in a season that has defied logic for most Phillies fans.
Had they won 2 out of the 3 games they lost in Houston, the Phillies would still be in the thick of the fight. Now, they sit 4 back, with no choice but to hope the 3 teams in front of them collapse altogether, similarly to what the Pittsburgh Pirates have done over the last few weeks.
The fact that it even came down to a spot where fans allowed themselves to hope again is a testament to the team. They continued to fight when it really appeared there was nothing left to fight for. Maybe that will be the silver lining taken from this mess of a season. While many, including me, questioned the heart of this team at times, they sure played with plenty of heart over the last month plus.
For a moment last night, the Phillies looked like a team with a miracle still left in them though. They sent 13 batters to the plate in the first inning alone, 7 of which reached before even one out was recorded. It was an inning of epic and historical proportions. It represented the first time in 100 years that the Phillies scored 8 runs in the first inning of an away game. It didn’t stop there.
Fueled by 4 hits from Chase Utley, 5 hits from Juan Pierre and 5 RBI from Ryan Howard, including his second home run in as many nights off of Mets reliever Josh Edgin, this one a grand slam in the ninth, the Phillies cruised.
More impressively than the offensive outburst that started and ended the game (the Phillies added 7 runs in the ninth) was the starting pitching they got from junk baller Tyler Cloyd. Cloyd gave up one run on three hits in 8 impressive innings. BJ Rosenberg pitched out of a mini jam in the ninth to nail down the victory. It’s not hard to pitch with a 15 run lead apparently.
The Phillies now return home to face the Atlanta Braves. The buzz may be slightly dissipated, but the team is still playing like they believe they can make the postseason. In the end, whether they make it or not, that might be the greatest victory of all for this team.