Russell Branyan, previously of Triple-A Buffalo, sent Jon Rauch’s eighth-inning fastball deep into the right-field mezzanine for a two-run, game-winning homer as the Phillies turned the tables on Washington 3-2.
It took Russell Branyan exactly one swing to justify his Phillies' existence. Branyan grabbed his helmet, rosined his thunderstick, strode to the plate and won the game, as if it were written on a press release ripped from the buttery hands of Ruben Amaro, Jr.
By winning the game with one swing, Branyan automatically gains entry into Pat Gillick's Value Village*, small-time acquisitions who’ve paid off for the Phils. The list that includes Tadahito Iguchi, J.C. Romero, Jose Mesa, Antonio Alfonseca and Greg Dobbs.
Kyle Lohse, another mid-season pickup who’s paying off, allowed just two hits through his first six innings before running out of steam in the seventh.
Lost in the shuffle was Carlos’ Ruiz’s RBI single, scoring Jayson Werth from second following Ryan Zimmerman’s throwing error. That makes three-consecutive victories where the Phils made the opposing team pay for a mistake.
Brett Myers struck out the side for his 10th save. Anyone who’s starting to see why Myers should become the Phillies’ permanent closer, come stand with me now. So far, it’s me, Cholly and a couple of team executives, warming our hands over a burn barrel and quizzing ourselves about the great home-grown relievers in Phillies' history. We’ll be scratching our heads for a while, so take your time.