Utley and Howard. It always comes down to these two in the end.
The Phillies won a wild one in Colorado last night, 12-11, thanks to the aforementioned duo who both hit crucial home runs. Howard's put the Phils ahead in the game for the first time; Utley's, with the bases full, ended up winning it by a hair.
Joe Blanton started and tried his damnedest to give away the game but the Phils started chipping away at a 4-0 deficit one run at a time beginning in the fourth and then appeared to have blown the game out of the water with a nine run seventh inning in which 12 batters came to the plate and Howard and Utley performed their heroics. Jayson Werth also stroked a home run in the seventh, meaning the 3-4-5 batters all produced in the same game for the first time since, when, April?
Utley and Howard also both made errors contributing to Colorado's eleven runs and the Rockies, a good club in general but especially in the very friendly confines of Coors Field, wouldn't go away. They nearly overcame the 12-7 lead the Phils built up before finally succumbing. They were probably just tired from running around the bases so much.
This win was one of those magical comebacks teams need to mount if they hope to make the post-season. In the Phils case it also concluded a very successful Western swing in which they won 6 of 7 games.
Now, they come home to face Milwaukee, which always seems to be poised to give the Phils fits at the end of the season or beginning of the post-season. What the locals don't need is a repeat of their last four games at Citizens Bank Park.
For the record, I haven't used my Beerleaguer mug since it failed me last week.