The Phillies pulled off an astonishing 8-6 shocker by roaring back for six runs off the Mets' bullpen, which blew another dominant start by Johan Santana. Unlikely hero So Taguchi delivered the game-saving blow with his first pinch hit of the season.
With the bases loaded and nobody out, Taguchi fought off several two-strike Pedro Feliciano pitches before gashing a double to right, plating two runs to tie it 5-5. Then, Jimmy Rollins followed with the game-winner, a two-run double past third baseman David Wright. The Phils would add an insurance run to make it 8-5.
The Phillies offense remained ice cold through Santana’s eight innings, managing just two runs, including a Shane Victorio solo homer in the seventh. The game appeared to be in the bag for the Mets, who scored five runs off Joe Blanton in his Phillies debut. Blanton allowed two homers and three walks on a night that featured a few too many hanging breaking balls and untimely mistakes.
But it didn’t matter. With Santana gone and three outs to play with, the Phils worked a series of good at bats against Duaner Sanchez, filling in for injured closer Billy Wagner. Jayson Werth started it with a single, followed by a two-strike, pinch hit by Greg Dobbs. Shane Victorino would then single to load the bases and knock Sanchez from the game. With Sanchez out, Joe Smith in, and the pressure on, Jose Reyes botched Carlos Ruiz’s high bouncer and the runners were safe all around. Taguchi would follow with the greatest hit of the season, and at that point, the Weitzel family dog ran and hid from the screaming.
Beerleaguer: Like a wise man once said: “There will come a time when So Taguchi will help the Phillies.” For months, we wondered, doubted and questioned, waiting impatiently for the veteran to deliver. "What purpose does he serve?” Ah, yes. Of course.