Phillies pick up Doc, walk off with four-run ninth

Phillies pick up Doc, walk off with four-run ninth

Phillies pick up Doc, walk off with four-run ninth
PHILADELPHIA -- Roy Halladay hopes somebody noticed.

The Phillies enjoyed a rare comeback victory Monday in a 7-6 thriller over the Brewers at Citizens Bank Park. The Phils had been 0-42 when trailing after eight innings this season, but a combination of three hits, three walks and a sacrifice fly allowed Philadelphia to enjoy its second walk-off victory in as many days.

The Phillies have showed life the last couple of days.

But is it enough to change minds in the front office?

"We want to keep our team together," Halladay said. "We want them to feel like we have a chance to win."

The Phillies are 43-54, 14 games behind the first-place Nationals in the National League East and 10 games behind the NL Wild Card leaders, with eight teams ahead of them. The odds are it is too late to make the postseason for a sixth consecutive year, although Monday's victory buoyed spirits in the clubhouse.

Brewers closer Francisco Rodriguez helped the cause thanks to a lack command of his fastball. Jimmy Rollins walked, Juan Pierre singled and Chase Utley walked to load the bases with one out in the ninth.

Ryan Howard stepped to the plate. He struck out looking in the exact same situation in the seventh, but this time, he delivered. He singled up the middle to score Rollins and Pierre to make it 6-5. Carlos Ruiz followed with a single to center to score Utley from third to tie the game.

Hunter Pence worked a walk to reload the bases, which is when manager Charlie Manuel decided to pinch-run catcher Erik Kratz for Howard, who was on third. Howard is not running at full speed following left Achilles surgery, but he threw up his arms when he saw the team's third-string catcher -- Kratz is no speedster himself -- jog onto the field to take his place at third.

"He was probably a little offended," Kratz joked.

"That was unbelievable," Howard said with a smile. "Unbelievable. Unbelievable. No, it was funny. I was just thinking to myself, man, if he was going to pinch-run for me, he could have pinch-run for me at first or at second, but they wait until I get to third and do all the work and bring in Kratz. But it worked out. It was the right move."

Ty Wigginton lined out to Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun, whose throw home missed the mark.

Kratz belly flopped onto home plate to score the winning run.

"I didn't get it done," Rodriguez said. "It's really painful."

The ninth-inning heroics saved a bad night for Halladay. He is just two starts removed from a seven-week stint on the disabled list with a strained right latissimus dorsi, but he still carries sky-high expectations on his right arm. But this has been a season to forget. He allowed six runs in six innings Monday. He is 4-5 with a 4.32 ERA. He has two more months to pitch, but Halladay has not finished a season with an ERA higher than 3.71 since he had a 4.20 ERA in 2004.

His night collapsed in the fourth. Former Phillies pitcher Randy Wolf hit a two-out single to center field. Norichika Aoki followed with a single to center and Carlos Gomez crushed a first-pitch curveball off the left-field foul pole for a three-run home run to give Milwaukee a 6-2 lead.

Halladay, much like he did before he landed on the DL in May, insisted he feels fine.

"The results aren't what I want. The execution isn't what I want," he said. "Mechanically, I feel good. My cutter isn't where I want it. I definitely obviously have some work to do. But I feel 100 times better. It's extremely frustrating. I understand I haven't had a lot of time back on the mound, but I expect more. I expect to compete better than that. I feel like I can."

Time will tell.

"I need to pitch better than I did," Halladay said. "That was a tough game to come back and win. The bullpen did a great job and getting some of those runs and walking off in the ninth inning wasn't an easy task, so it shows a lot of life. That's something we haven't done a lot this year. Hopefully upstairs they see that, but there's things I need to do and there's a lot to be done. You can't look at one inning of a game and think that's going to change their whole perspective, so there's work to be done. But it's nice to see us finish the way we did today."

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