Call last night’s 6-5 comeback the best win of the young season. Even for those who struggled, there was upside. Here’s a sampling.
-- Tom Gordon blew his third save of the season, which started with Mike Jacobs' slap double to lead off the 9th. Eric Reed, running for Jacobs, would eventually score on Cody Ross' double down the line. However, Flash deserves credit for keeping Ross from crossing home with back-to-back strikeouts. Flash was hitting 94 on the gun and was making good pitches. It’s difficult to imagine he will lose his closer job all because of last night’s performance, although after the game, manager Charlie Manuel said Brett Myers will get chances to close games soon.
-- After starter Freddy Garcia left after four-plus innings, the bullpen did a remarkable job keeping the game close. Over 4 1-3 innings, Antonio Alfonseca, Myers, Ryan Madson and Gordon allowed just one run on eight hits (too many hits allowed by Myers), but struck out eight.
-- The player of the game could have been any number of individuals. A solid choice would be catcher Carlos Ruiz, who went 3-for-5 with two RBIs including the game-winning hit. Chooch also made two great throws defensively.
-- The game felt one-sided most of the night, but the Marlins allowed the Phils to stick around, a dangerous situation considering the number of players who can put balls in the seats. A pair of solo shots by Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley turned the tide in the eighth. Aaron Rowand sent one deep earlier on a difficult pitch. Rowand's hitting streak sits at 15, while others such as Utley and Ruiz have begun their own modest streaks.
-- After the home runs in the eighth, the Phils played small ball in the ninth, with Michael Bourn setting the table with a lead-off walk, another hit from Rowand and a beautiful sacrifice bunt from Wes Helms to load the bases. Bourn demonstrated why his lightning speed can be so disruptive as the Marlins rushed to make plays and booted them.
-- The Phillies face Dontrelle Willis tonight and will counter with Adam Eaton. Needless to say, pulling out this win was huge. The Marlins' offense is very dangerous and could be in for a big night tonight.
-- With three games remaining, the Phillies have tied their win total for the past two Aprils. If they win the next three, they will finish the month above .500.
Game chat: Adam Eaton and Dontrelle Willis pitch tonight at 7:05 p.m. Willis (4-1, 5.28 ERA) has allowed 13 earned runs the last two starts. Eaton (2-1, 6.46 ERA) has given up four runs in six innings in each of his last two starts.