To the Phillies fans, it was a game to remember. For Dodgers closer Jonathan Broxton, it was a night from hell.
First there was Matt Stairs, who crushed the go-ahead homer in Game 4 of the 2008 NLCS in Los Angeles off Broxton that eventually helped them win the series. Then in Game 4 of the NLCS the following year, Jimmy Rollins’ walk-off two-run double lifted the Phillies again over Broxton.
First it was Matt Stairs. The Jimmy Rollins. Now Carlos Ruiz became the third Phillies in three years to victimize Dodgers closer Jonathan Broxton.
There wasn’t anything on the line in this game. It was August, not October. Broxton was entering the ninth with a three-run lead against an offense that was hot and cold all year. Surely he would fail to record an out and let the Phillies steal another one from the Dodgers.
It was an ugly game from the start for the Phillies. Joe Blanton took the hill and allowed three runs in the first inning. By the time Blanton was pulled with two outs in the sixth, the Dodgers had a 4-2 lead. LA then feasted on an at-the-time struggling bull pen. They got five runs, three earned off of Chad Durbin, J.C. Romero, and Jose Contreras in the next 2 1/3 innings.
Leading 9-2 built off of a monster game by Matt Kemp, the Dodgers were set to put the Phillies away. But heading into the eighth inning, the Phillies offense took life. Placido Polanco and Mike Sweeney hit back-to-back singles and moved up on a wild pitch by Ronald Belisario. Jayson Werth, hit a two-run single with the runners in scoring position to make it a 9-4 game. Ben Francisco then doubled in Werth and later scored on a Wilson Valdez single to bring the Phils to within three.
After a 1-2-3 inning by Danys Baez, Broxton entered the game to close out the Phillies. He was greeted by the loud fans of Philadelphia, very well aware of Broxton’s post season success, or lack there of, against the Phillies. Broxton, who’s control issues cost him Game 4 of 2009, couldn’t hit the plate again. He hit Polanco with a pitch and then walked Sweeney and Werth.
Francisco then stepped up to the plate with the bases loaded and no outs. He hit a hard double-play ball to third baseman Casey Blake, but Blake let the ball scoot between his legs and into left field, scoring Polanco and Sweeney. The score was 9-8 and Carlos Ruiz, who is no stranger to clutch hitting, stepped up to the plate. He sent Broxton’s 1-1 offering over the head of Kemp in center field to score Werth and Francisco for the walk-off double.
*moment submitted by (@DealNCali)
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