Bunting saves the season!
With the Braves trailing 3-2 entering the ninth, ACHE was the leadoff hitter and pulled a ball into the hole that Utley, of all people, simply whiffed for a classic Prado. (In fact, it was so bad of a play that the game logger originally recorded it as an error and then had to change it. [UPDATE: Now they are saying it was two errors.]) Even though Diaz pounds Lidge, Bobby had him bunt anyway, even though the bunts had consistently failed to produce any runs. This one did, because Lidge first dropped the ball and then threw it into right field, allowing ACHE to score all the way from first and Diaz to get all the way to third. Actually, it should have been two errors, one for the drop and one for the throw. The Phillies walked the bases loaded — intentionally to Adam, and semi-intentionally to Norton, who has nearly twice as many walks as hits this year. Church — who had replaced McLouth when the latter’s hamstring tightened up — struck out, but Infante — who had replaced Prado due to the latter’s “heat-related symptoms” — grounded past shortstop to end it.
The game to that point had looked like a repeat of last night, even down to the 3-2 score. The Braves took the lead in the third when one of McCann’s hard-hit balls finally left the ballpark, with Chipper on first. But after that it was more of the same, more long fly balls caught by the loathsome Victorino and line drives right at the infielders. The Phillies got a run in the fourth on a triple by the Loathsome One and a groundout from Howard, and another in the fifth on a double followed by a triple. They took the lead in the seventh on a homer by Werth. Kawakami gave up only seven hits, but six were for extra bases.
O’Flaherty got out of Kawakami’s second-and-third, one-out jam in the seventh, and Gonzalez pitched around a leadoff walk-stolen base-third on an error by the Loathsome One in the eighth, striking out Howard in the process as if to really rub in what happened last night. Moylan retired the Phillies in order in the ninth, and got the win.