Finally, Some Luck

Posted: June 21, 2012 in Uncategorized

Polanco’s teammates mob the third baseman

It is better to be lucky than good.

For Placido Polanco and the Phillies, there haven’t been a lot of good omens coming out of Citizens Bank Park this season. Entering play with one of the worst home records in baseball, the 5-time defending NL East champions knew that it was now or never if they were intending on extending that impressive streak.

Heading into the ninth inning, it looked like the Phillies were on their way to yet another embarrassing defeat. Tied entering the ninth, Manager Charlie Manuel tabbed RHP Jonathan Papelbon from the bullpen to try to maintain a tie score heading into the last half of the frame. After retiring the first two batters, Papelbon surrendered a double to Rockies’ C Wilin Rosario. After an intentional walk to pinch hitter Jason Giambi, CF Dexter Fowler singled to right to score Rosario. It looked like the Phillies would once again asphyxiate themselves at the worst possible moment.

But, this night was not about the team’s recent struggles. No, this night resembled the Phillies of old. Instead of surrendering once they had two outs in the bottom of the ninth, the Phillies rose up, as the middle of their order delivered in a massive way. After 1B Ty Wigginton grounded a single through the hole between third and short, RF Hunter Pence smashed a 1-1 fastball to left field. Like Paul Bunyan swatting his colossal club, Pence smoked the heater from Rockies’ Closer Rafael Betancourt off the wall beneath the flower beds. Moments later, Wigginton galloped home to tie the game at 6.

After an intentional walk to Carlos Ruiz and a Shane Victorino infield single, veteran 3B Placido Polanco stepped up to the dish with a chance to give the Phillies just their second walk-off win of the season. Polanco worked the count in his favor, then dribbled a 2-1 fastball to Marco Scutaro at Shortstop. The former Red Sox’ throw was on line and in time, but All Star 1B Todd Helton made a major gaffe that even Mitt Romney would be proud of. Instead of holding the bag with his left leg (as is the proper mechanics of a first baseman), Helton attempted to catch the ball then reach for the bag with his right leg. Polanco’s foot beat Helton’s to the base and, for just just the second time in 2012, the Phillies were walk-off winners at Citizens Bank Park.

The Phightin Phils clinched their first home series victory of three or more games since May 11-13 vs. San Diego. Vance Worley will take the mound against Jeff Francis on Thursday, trying to give Philadelphia their first sweep at home since September 5-7, 2011 against Atlanta.


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