Phillies offense heats up in walk-off win
Heading into the season, a hot topic regarding the Phillies was their lack of offense.
Placido Polanco reached on an error by Todd Helton, allowing Hunter Pence to score the game-winning run in a dramatic 7-6 Phillies victory over the Rockies last night at Citizens Bank Park. Pence set up the two-run ninth with a double off the left field wall against Rockies closer Rafael Betancourt.
Two outs and no runners on and the Phillies found a way to win.
Just like that a crushing defeat turned into a huge win, the Phillies’ second in a row over Colorado to open this 10-game homestand. It was Philadelphia’s second walk-off this season — the first one occurred in a May 15 win against the Astros.
“Hopefully, that’s a good omen,” manager Charlie Manuel said after his club improved to 33-37.
Jonathan Papelbon entered this game tied at 5 in the ninth and couldn’t keep it that way. He’s 17-for-17 in save opportunities, however, and earned his first career victory in a Philadelphia uniform.
Since May 1, the Phillies lead all National League teams and rank fourth in the major leagues with 228 runs scored. They have managed five or more runs 22 times in that span of 47 games.
The Phillies also lead the NL in hitting — .276 entering last night — since May 1.
In June, the Phillies have belted 21 home runs, including four three-run shots.
Even without Chase Utley and Ryan Howard and a makeshift lineup virtually every night, the club continues to put up offensive numbers.
“It’s a good feeling to win two games in a row,” Polanco said. “We have to keep the momentum. All the games count whether it’s Opening Day or this one. They all count.”
Last night, the Phillies scored more than enough runs to win, but starter Joe Blanton struggled again. He allowed three more homers, pushing his total to 17 in 14 starts.
Blanton has surrendered 16 homers over his last eight starts after allowing only one in his first six starts. His 16 homers allowed are the most in the majors since May 14.
Once again, the Phillies’ offense bailed out the pitching. It has been that way for a while. And it has to be an encouraging sign moving forward.
“It’s good to win a couple in a row,” Blanton said. “We had some good things happen at the end of the game.”
“We definitely need some games like this,” Manuel said. “It gets you more spirited and it’s good because we came back at home.”