Was That A Comeback?
The Phillies entered last night 0-28 when trailing after eight innings and 1-9 when tied after eight innings. So fans had little reason to believe the Phillies would win when Jonathan Papelbon allowed a run in the ninth to give the Rockies a one-run lead. They had even less reason to believe when the Phillies picked up two quick outs in the bottom of the ninth.
Aside: Fans begging for Papelbon to be used in tie games/non-save situations on the road might be interested in this stat: Papelbon has not allowed a run in 17 save situations this season (0 earned runs in 17 1/3 innings), but has a 6.10 ERA (7 earned runs in 10 1/3 innings) in non-save situations.
But the Phillies offense kept coming with a two-out rally to win it. The Phillies are sixth in baseball in scoring since May 1, averaging 4.85 runs per game. Only the Rangers (5.26), White Sox (5.06), Blue Jays (4.98), Rockies (4.98) and Red Sox (4.89) are scoring at a higher pace. The Phillies also are third in batting (.275) and extra-base hits (156); fifth in on-base percentage (.332); sixth in OPS (.765); and eighth in slugging (.433).
Aside: The offense isn’t this team’s problem — an underachieving rotation and a shoddy bullpen are bigger issues — although it still needs to improve its situational hitting. The Phillies are second-to-last in baseball in scoring runners on third with less than two outs, bringing them home only 40 percent of the time. The league average is 50 percent, meaning if the Phillies had just been average this season they would have scored 13 more runs. Sprinkle those runs here and there and they might be 36-34 (or better)instead of 33-37.
The Phillies needed a game like last night. I’m not saying it’s going to carry into tonight or begin a turnaround, but it’s a long season and it’s a good mental boost to have players storming out of the dugout to celebrate a walkoff victory on the field.