Originally posted on Fox Sports South  |  By STEVE EUBANKS  |  Last updated 9/8/13
It shouldn't have been as close as it was. The Phillies out-hit and out-pitched the Braves from start to finish on Saturday night. So, when fans at Citizen Bank Park saw the score knotted at five runs apiece in the bottom of the 9th, the bewilderment in their faces said it all. How could this be? How could the Phillies have more than twice the hits and less than half the strikeouts and not be leading with two outs remaining in the game? Those questions were quickly forgotten when Phillies shortstop Freddy Galvis hit a walk-off home run off Freddy Garcia to beat the Braves, 6-5. Here are three cuts from the game. 1. Andrelton Simmons had an unforgettable performance on an otherwise forgettable night Simmons' last at-bat would have been replayed for weeks had the Braves been able to pull out the victory. Jonathan Papelbon was on the mound to close for the Phillies, who led 5-3 and needed only two outs to take down the National League's best team on consecutive nights. Papelbon had already gotten Brian McCann to ground out to first and carded the second out when Joey Terdoslovich hit a playable pop fly to left field. Between the two outs, Chris Johnson got a hit, but Papelbon seemed to be in command of the inning after Simmons looked at two quick strikes without taking a swing. His third pitch to Simmons broke late, but the Braves shortstop was able to foul it off. Then, the fourth missed inside for ball one. Simmons fought off the fifth pitch, cutting another foul into the seats behind the dugout. He then took a ball too low. Papelbons seventh pitch was one of his best, nibbling the outside corner of the plate at the knees. But Simmons was able to foul that one off, as the crowd continued to cheer what they hoped would be the last pitch, last strike and last out of the game. On the eighth delivery, the batter saw what he wanted, a waist-high fastball with little movement. Simmons, who went 3 for 4, scored two runs and had two RBIs, hammered a honer 359 feet over the leftfield wall, tying the game at 5 and forcing the Phillies to the dugout for the bottom half of the ninth. He made some good pitches, Simmons told the media after the game. "I fouled a couple off, but I was just looking for a good pitch to hit and luckily I got to it." When asked about the emotions of having an at-bat like that in a game where he seemed to be able to do no wrong, Simmons said, "I just tried to stay calm throughout the game. I learned that from Chipper (Jones) last year. No matter what the situation, just stay calm. In big games, stay calm. Youre at your best when youre calm. I tried that today and it worked out pretty well." Manager Fredi Gonzalez agreed, saying of Simmons, "He had some great at-bats the whole game, and to have him get that run late to tie it up, it was really big." But no one in the visiting locker room was happy about the outcome. "Its not a good feeling to lose," Simmons said. "But we lost a game yesterday and came back today with a lot of energy. We played great, but they played better." 2. Double-digit strikeouts are making a comeback with the Braves Early in the season, the Braves made an uncomfortable habit of striking out 10 or more times oer outing. At the time, Gonzalez told fans and media not to worry, that a team built for power was bound to have a lot of strikeouts. The Braves were getting hits and homers and winning games, so everyone seemed to accept Gonzalezs dismissal of the strikeout problem. In September, though, those strikeouts, and the general lack of offense from a healthy portion of the lineup, are a touch more unsettling. The Braves could only muster 11 hits in their first two nights in Philly. Four on Friday and seven on Saturday, and all of the hits coming from three players: Andrelton Simmons, Freddie Freeman and Chris Johnson. Couple those numbers with Atlanta's 12 strikeouts from Saturday, and it isnt a stretch to say the Braves have some legitimate offensive worries for the postseason. B.J. Upton struck out all four times Saturday, while brother Justin stuck out twice and drew a walk. Evan Gattis also struck out twice, as did McCann. As for the sluggers in the lineup, the Uptons and Dan Uggla are a combined 2 for 46 in recent days. "Weve had some opportunities, but we just havent gotten the ball into play," Gonzalez said. 3. Scott Downs had a scary moment in the game Downs pitched to only one batter in the 6th, Chase Utley, who hit a bullet back to the mound. Downs fielded the ball but it was immediately apparent that something was wrong. The ball hit Downs glove at an odd angle, and when he removed the mitt, it was obvious that he was in pain. With injuries having already changed the Braves bullpen in ways no one saw coming, the last thing Gonzalez needs is another wounded pitcher. Downs came out and went to the treatment room for x-rays. After the game, it was announced that he had a non-displaced fracture on his right ring finger. "Good thing is its not on his throwing hand," Gonzalez said. Were going to put a glove and a splint or some tape on it and see how it goes." When asked about Downs status, Gonzalez shrugged and said. Were going to call it day-to-day." Video: Galvis' walk-off beats Braves
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