Erik Kratz takes a hit from Chipper Jones (Photo: AP)
As John Mayberry Jr. raced toward the infield, a blooper dropped into shallow center field. He immediately fired the baseball home while Chipper Jones rounded third. The throw was a little up the line, but Erik Kratz was able to make one of the top defensive plays of the year. As soon as the ball hit the glove, Jones collided with Kratz. Kratz took a huge hit from Chipper Jones at the plate, but Kratz was able to hold on for the out. The play saved a run, but it wasn’t the only big play from Kratz that night.
The Phillies found themselves trailing 4-1 entering the top of the sixth inning. They were able to tie the game in the sixth, but the Braves quickly regained the lead.
Down by a run in the top of the ninth inning with Craig Krimbel on the mound, it looked like the Phillies were going to lose this game for sure. With two strikes, Krimbel fired a 99 mph fastball to Kratz, but Kratz drilled it to the left field seats. The game was tied at five.
The game would head to extra innings, but it didn’t take long for the Phillies to take the lead. With two on and two outs in the tenth inning, Mayberry drilled a home run to left. The homer gave the Phillies an 8-5 lead, and the Phillies didn’t look back.
Kratz was red hot at the time, and he served as the hero, at least for a little while. That win on August 31 was huge, as the Phillies were able to gain some ground in the Wild Card. It certainly led to some much needed excitement in Phillies baseball.