Posted by Kevin Durso
AP Photo/Matt Slocum
The Phillies have had several opportunities of late to complete the sweep on a series, and everytime they get it lately, it seems to go by the wayside. Today, it would take a little extra to prevent that from happening again. But, in the end, the Phillies did with plenty of support from Raul Ibanez.
It was the Phillies who took the early lead in the second, as Raul Ibanez belted a solo shot to center.
For quite some time, that would be the only offense to speak of. That was until the fifth, when a two-run single by Xavier Paul put the Pirates on top. The Phillies had a quick answer, as Jimmy Rollins brought home two with a single. But, the Pirates weren't done. With Worley likely finished after six innings, he was one strike away from escaping with the lead. Lyle Overbay had other ideas. He homered to deep right field to put the Pirates on top.
Vance Worley was finished after the sixth, allowing four runs on seven hits, with no walks and seven strikeouts. Brad Lidge came on for the seventh, and saw his early stretch of success end. He allowed an RBI double to Garrett Jones to extend the Pirates' lead.
The Phillies just wouldn't go quietly. Ryan Howard doubled in the eighth to bring the tying run to the plate, but made a mental error on the bases. He was out trying for third on a grounder to short by Hunter Pence, who would have easily reached even if Howard stayed put. Raul Ibanez made up for it with his second home run of the game, a two-run shot to tie it.
The Phillies nearly won it in the ninth, as Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino walked to reach. Rollins stole second, and then stole third as part of a double steal with Victorino. That left it up to Chase Utley, who battled in the whole at-bat, and eventually flied to deep center, forcing the game into extras.
In the tenth, the Phillies finished the job. Pence doubled with one out, and that brought Raul Ibanez to the plate. Ibanez had already done enough to be a hero, but he capped off an amazing day with a walk-off double, giving the Phillies the sweep and the 6-5 win over the Pirates.
The Phillies just somehow find a way to win. As Pence put so perfectly in a post-game interview, this team is a scrappy bunch, and it is simply awesome. The Phillies managed to turn around a rough few innings, and pull out a late victory. The hero of the day is obvious, as Raul Ibanez dominated at the plate, going 3-for-5 with two home runs and a walk-off double. Jimmy Rollins went 2-for-4 with a pair of RBIs as well.
On the mound, Vance Worley allowed the most runs he has all season since taking his loss to the Mets. This time, the Phillies were able to overcome the deficit, and get him off the hook. Overall, it wasn't a terrible day for Worley, but appeared to be enough that the Phillies would fall. But, it's that fighting spirit of the Phillies that powered them back into this one. And with Raul Ibanez leading the charge today, you just had a feeling that he would be right in the middle of it.
Finally, after all these chances to sweep of late, they completed one today. Now, with the homestand over, it's on the road for ten games.
The Phillies open a ten-game road trip tomorrow, as they start a three-game series with the Colorado Rockies.