TTB

Blogging about the 5x NL East Champion Phillies

2011 Moment: #9 Opening Day Heroics

Phils pinch hitter John Mayberry drives in the game-winning run with a single to score Ben Francisco. (Photo by John Russo)

The fans knew it was over as soon as the ball left John Mayberry Jr’s bat.

Perhaps it was the fact the Phils had the bases loaded with one out that forced Astros center fielder Michael Bourn to play shallow. But the moment Mayberry ripped a screamer to center with the game tied 4-4 in the 9th, the fans knew it was over Bourn’s head and the game was over.

Mayberry’s winner wouldn’t have been made possible if it weren’t for the Phils showing resiliency in their first action of the 2011 season.

Brett Myers had been dominating the Phils through the first seven innings, holding them two only two runs on three hits.

The Astros took a 4-2 lead into the 9th with closer Brandon Lyon taking the mound, hoping to close out the Astros first game and completing another vengeance game for his starter. But the Phils offense showed life, rattling six singles in a three-run 9th inning to complete a memorable comeback.

Jimmy Rollins, who started the season in the three-spot with Chase Utley shelved, led off with a single to right fielder Hunter Pence. Ryan Howard followed with a base hit before Raul Ibanez popped out.

With Ben Francisco batting, Rollins stole third and Francisco drove him home to make it a 4-3 game and bringing the fans to their feet. Carlos Ruiz singled the bases loaded and Wilson Valdez ripped a line drive to left field to tie the game up.

With the bases still loaded, Mayberry stepped up to the plate. The count was brought to 2-2 on Mayberry’s second foul ball. But he drove Lyon’s fifth offering, a walk-off single over the head of Bourn to win the game for the Phils and complete their three-run 9th inning.

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