For seven innings, the Philadelphia Phillies showed no life. Brett Myers had his former team baffled with an efficient 85-pitch game, allowing only one earned run. In typical Phillies fashion, they made some late-inning noise.
Roy Halladay looked as if he was in post-season for through the first few innings. His pitches were pin-point and his breaking-balls were tight. Only allowing 1 earned run in the game, Halladay wasn’t the problem early in the game. He was getting no offensive support.
Better late than never. In an underrated seventh inning, the Phillies put together two runs, cutting the Astros lead in half, at 4-2. Howard hit a sacrafice fly, scoring Placido Polanco, and Ibanez grounded out, scoring Jimmy Rollins. What do you know, the Phillies played a little small ball.
In the 9th inning, the Bank got loud. Three RBI-singles by Ben Francisco, Wilson Valdez and hero for the day, John Mayberry Jr. lifted the Phillies to a 5-4 victory in walk-off fashion. Ben Francisco scored the game-winning run on a bullet to center field off the bat of Mayberry Jr., sailing over Michael Bourn’s head.
“You feel bad for Doc; he’s pitching his butt off out there,” said Francisco after the game. “You make a mistake like that (E9 on Francisco) and you hope he picks you up, and he did. You want to go back and pick him up as well.”
There are still 161 games left in the season, but without a doubt, this was a hell of a way to dust off the bats and loosen the throwing arms.
“This is a special day for us, definitely,” said John Mayberry Jr., in a post game interview with Gary Matthews.
Cliff Lee will face Wandy Rodriguez in game 2 of the opening series on Saturday at 7:05 in the bank.
2B: Valdez (1). RBI: RBI: R Howard (1), R Ibanez (1), B Francisco (1), W Valdez (1), J Mayberry Jr. (1)
WP: Danys Baez (1-0). LP: Brandon Lyon (0-1).