Tonight’s marvelous game was courtesy of Ryan Howard. He erased a horrible night at the plate, including three strikeouts, by belting a walk-off, two-run blast to center in the 10th inning, leading the Phils over the Dodgers 5-4 to open the series.
Howard also erased a tough outing by Billy Wagner, who threw 43 pitches over two innings, well over his limit. He hurt his chances of taking advantage of that cheap airfare to Boston by tying a career high with three walks and surrendering a go-ahead run in the tenth.
Howard’s blast also erased, or at least lessened the chance of, Wags charging back into the locker room and giving Bobby Abreu the business. Abreu missed a ball that should have been caught, extending the marathon inning for Wags.
And way back when, it erased another shaky start by Brett Myers, who started things out by allowing a home run to Oscar (grab your Mexican league stat book) Robles to lead off the game.
What else does it erase? Oh yes. National League Player of the Week and Beerleaguer first-half MVP Chase Utley is totally on fire, and delivered another two-out RBI.
I'm also high on Ugueth Urbina and Pat Burrell, but that will have to wait.
And I’m down on Kenny Lofton and Abreu at the moment. That, too, will have to wait.
Because tonight, it’s time to celebrate, as the predictable unpredictability called Phillies baseball is taking this writer back into my archived win-streak templates.
Tomorrow’s post shall be called ... ah yes ... “A glimmer of hope.”