Ruiz's career night not enough for Phils in Atlanta

Ruiz's career night not enough for Phils in Atlanta

Ruiz's career night not enough for Phils in Atlanta
ATLANTA -- Roy Halladay, his face flush, sat and watched the rest of the sixth inning at Turner Field from the Phillies' dugout.

Oh, the thoughts that must have been running through his mind.

Like, what in the world just happened to him?

But Halladay had not seen everything yet Wednesday. He blew a six-run lead in a brutal 15-13 loss to the Braves in 11 innings at Turner Field, but his performance was just the beginning of the madness. His trusted and beloved battery mate, Carlos Ruiz, nearly saved the day with the game of his career, picking up a career-high seven RBIs and giving the Phillies a four-run lead in the eighth. But the bullpen -- with help from a costly error by Jimmy Rollins -- allowed five runs in the bottom of the eighth to give the Braves a 13-12 lead.

The Phillies tied the game in the top of the ninth, only to have Braves third baseman Chipper Jones hit a two-run home run to center field against Brian Sanches in the 11th to win it.

"This was the most psychotic game I've ever been a part of," Jones said.

The Phillies (12-13) had a chance to move above .500 for the first time since Opening Day and give them their first three-game winning streak since they finished last season with a four-game streak.

Those things will have to come another day.

Halladay had a sparkling 107-0 record in his career when his team handed him a four-run lead -- his teams are now 110-9 in those games -- and the Phillies provided him a six-run cushion after they scored four runs in the third inning and two more runs in the fifth inning. But five singles by the Braves in the bottom of the fifth moved them within four runs when Brian McCann stunned the Phils and crushed a 2-1 cutter to right field for a game-tying grand slam.

Halladay allowed two more runs in the sixth inning to give the Braves an 8-6 lead before manager Charlie Manuel mercifully ended his night.

Halladay had not allowed a home run since Sept. 19, 2011, a stretch of 50 consecutive innings. He had not allowed a grand slam since July 9, 2008, when Evan Longoria hit one. He had not allowed six runs in one inning since May 10, 2007, when the Red Sox got him.

It was just the second time in his career Halladay allowed 12 or more hits and eight or more earned runs in a game.

How did Halladay let that happen?


Halladay's face looked flush even in the early innings, reminiscent of a game in Chicago last summer when he was sick and wilted under the heat.

"No, honestly I felt good," Halladay said. "There were some pitches with guys on that I didn't execute. It had nothing to do with anything else. I wish I had a better reason for you, but I don't. It was just a lack of executing pitches in key situations. That's what cost me."

Halladay said he had no discussions with Manuel or pitching coach Rich Dubee about starting the sixth inning. He had thrown 82 pitches to that point, but insisted he felt strong despite a grueling fifth in which he threw 34 pitches.

"The pitch count was down," Halladay said. "I felt like I could go out and get us deeper and keep it right there. That was obviously the idea. If they felt like I was physically done, they would have taken me out."

Ruiz hit a three-run home run to left field in the seventh inning and hit a double to clear the bases in the eighth inning to give the Phillies a 12-8 lead. Since RBIs became an official statistic in 1920, no Phillies catcher had seven RBIs in a game until Wednesday.

It looked like a memorable comeback victory in the making for Ruiz, but the eighth inning was a total meltdown.

Jose Contreras allowed a leadoff single to Dan Uggla when Jones hit a ball up the middle to Rollins, who was thinking double play all the way. But he couldn't handle the ball and both runners were safe.

"Oh, that was an easy double play," Rollins said. "At least I thought it was going to be an easy double play. Not necessarily easy, but for me. For me, that's an easy double play."

Contreras eventually allowed a run to make it 12-9. He left the bases loaded with one out when the Phillies plucked Michael Schwimer from the bullpen. Setup man Chad Qualls had pitched three times in the previous four days and was not available, which was why they chose the inexperienced Schwimer.

Schwimer promptly walked Michael Bourn on four pitches to force home a run to make it 12-10. Martin Prado followed with a two-run single to center to tie the game. Freddie Freeman's sacrifice fly scored Bourn to give the Braves the lead.

Manuel said Jonathan Papelbon was available to pick up a three-out save, but was not going to try to get two outs in the eighth and three more in the ninth after he just pitched three times in four days. Not this early in the season.

"We never do that," Manuel said. "It's just not the way it is. Papelbon is in the ninth inning for a save. When we ever have a lead, when we start the ninth inning, he's going to save."

The Phillies tied the game in the ninth when Juan Pierre walked, stole second, advanced to third on a fielder's choice and scored on Shane Victorino's infield single up the middle.

It was 13-13.

It wouldn't stay there much longer. Sanches, who had started to tire as he began his third inning of work, threw Jones a 3-2 fastball. He wanted it away, but it was over the middle of the plate.


"You always talk about short-term memory, but you never forget those," Halladay said. "It's happened. You don't forget about them."

How could anybody forget this one?

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.