Thursday, June 12, 2014

Game of the Day (6/11/14)

Phillies 3, Padres 0. Philly's Cole Hamels took on San Diego's Tyson Ross, in what would have been an enormous mismatch two years ago; the pitchers have since become pretty even.

Hamels was perfect in the top of the first; Jimmy Rollins singled and stole his way to third in the bottom of the inning, but was left there. Each team put its first hitter on in the third, as Cameron Maybin doubled (and was stranded at third) and Hamels singled (and was stranded at second). San Diego loaded the bases in the fourth on singles by Chase Headley and Tommy Medica and a Rene Rivera walk, but Maybin struck out to strand all three runners.

Ross singled and was left on in the top of the fifth; Carlos Ruiz singled, stole second, and advanced no further in the bottom of the inning. Rollins reached on a Jace Peterson error in the sixth, but Chase Utley hit into a double play ahead of Ryan Howard's single, pulling the teeth from a potential rally before it could get started. Both starters were perfect in the seventh, and Hamels worked around a Chris Denorfia single in the eighth.

Joaquin Benoit relieved Ross in the bottom of the eighth and allowed a Ben Revere single; Revere stole second while Rollins struck out, Utley was intentionally walked, and Howard struck out as well, ending the inning. Jonathan Papelbon hit Headley with a pitch in the top of the ninth, but the runner was caught stealing and the Padres failed to put another on. And in the bottom of the inning, Nick Vincent walked Domonic Brown, hit Ruiz with a pitch, and served up a walkoff three-run homer to Reid Brignac.

Once regarded as a top prospect, Brignac has been an unquestionable disappointment so far in his big league career. His career batting line is a depressing .221/.265/.312, and the home run in yesterday's game was only the 12th he's hit in nearly 900 plate appearances.

And yet, this is not the first time he's hit a walkoff homer to end a previously scoreless game; he did it in this game as well. I suspect that is more scoreless-tie-breaking walkoffs than quite a few more famous players have hit. So at least Reid Brignac has that going for him.

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