Revere’s Hustle Fuels Phillies Comeback
By Chris Murray
For the Chris Murray Report and Philadelphia Sunday Sun
PHILADELPHIA—After the Phillies were shut out by the Cincinnati Reds the previous day, Charlie Manuel talked about the importance of his team hanging in there and not quitting.
“You stay aggressive and keep working on trying to get a good ball to hit. Not trying to overdo it, but just stay within yourself and do something. … Never get down, play 27 outs,” Manuel said.
For a team that was scoreless for 16 and two-thirds innings, that mentality would pay dividends in the Phillies 3-2 walk-off win over the Reds in the series finale at Citizen’s Bank Park Sunday afternoon.
The back-to-back homeruns off the Reds hard-throwing closer Aroldis Chapman by third baseman Freddy Galvis, who hit the game-winner and Erik Kratz, whose homer tied it gave the Phillies an improbable win.
“As soon as I hit, I thought hit it good,” Galvis said. “It was the first time in my life (hitting a walk off homer). I don’t think I’ll forget it.”
The Phillies ninth inning heroics were set up by the speed and hustle of centerfielder Ben Revere, who had three hits in four at-bats. It was his last hit that put the Phillies on the path to victory on a day when it looked like they were going to get shut out again.
With two outs in the bottom of the eighth and the Phillies trailing 2-0, Revere smacked a hard grounder to Reds first baseman Joey Votto who dived for the ball and gloved it, but couldn’t get the ball to the pitcher covering first base in time put out the Phillies speedy centerfielder.
“It’s just all about hustle,” Revere said. “I could have just gave up on the play. About a week ago that could be an out, but no way today because I was feeling comfortable at the plate.”
After stealing second and a walk to Michael Young, Revere scored on a single by Chase Utley to cut the Reds lead to 2-1.
“Maybe that was the moment to get stuff going off of this,” Kratz said. “Anytime Ben gets on base, he can score from anywhere because of what he can do on the base paths.”
Kratz’s game-tying solo homerun should have been the game-winner if Chapman had not picked off pitcher Cliff Lee, who was pinch-running for Delmon Young who walked to open the bottom of the ninth.
“That was brutal. I’ve never been so disappointed when a guy hit a home run to tie the game in my life,” Lee said of his gaffe. “That was bad. I felt horrible. Fortunately, Kratzy hit the home run and Freddy right behind him and that was a really good feeling. They made up for my mistake, which was unacceptable and basically brutal.”
For about seven and two-thirds innings, it was looking like the Phillies offense was going to waste another outstanding effort by a starting pitcher. Rookie sensation Jonathan Pettibone definitely pitched well enough to win. The offense’s late heroics turned a certain defeat into a no-decision.
In seven innings, Pettibone allowed just two runs-solo homer by Jay Bruce in the second inning and an RBI double to Todd Frazier in the sixth-and seven hits. He had four strikeouts and three walks.
More importantly, Pettibone and relievers Justin De Fratus and Antonio Bastardo kept the game within reach and didn’t allow the Reds to score anymore runs after the sixth inning.
“It was huge,” said Kratz, who came into the game in the third inning after Carlos Ruiz left the game with a strained right hamstring. “It doesn’t matter if we would have gone through seven guys in the bullpen or one guy, as a catcher you come out and you tell them we got to keep it right here.
“We got to play it like it’s a zero-zero game. You can’t let them get to three. Chapman with a two-run lead is tougher than Chapman with a one-run lead.”
HOWARD TO GET MRI
Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard missed Sunday’s game because of soreness in his left knee. Team officials said Howard will get an MRI Monday in Miami where the team will begin a four-game series against the Marlins.
Howard said the knee had been bothering him for awhile and that the pain was bothering him more than normal Saturday night.
“It’s been acting up since Spring Training and I was able to tough my way through it,” Howard said. “(Saturday) it just kicked up a little bit.”
When asked if he thought that soreness was affecting his hitting in any way, he said it’s been tough trying to push off that knee. Howard has just four hits in his last 33 at-bats.
“We’ll see if the rest helps it,” Howard said.