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June 27, 2014

What You Need to Know

The Killer Cs

by Chris Mosch


The Thursday Takeaway
The Phillies squandered opportunity after opportunity to send the Citizens Bank crowd home happy during extra innings on Thursday night. But after a slew of remarkable defensive plays by Cody Asche and a 14th-inning stretch, Chase Utley finished off the Marlins in walk-off fashion.

Cole Hamels took the hill for the Phillies and fired seven strong innings, with his only blemishes coming in the form of solo home runs. The southpaw fanned seven and issued no walks while notching 10 swings-and-misses with his changeup for the second straight game.

Jarrod Saltalamacchia opened up the scoring in the second inning by crushing a 3-1 fastball from Hamels into the left-field bleachers to give the Fish a 1-0 lead. The next inning, Hamels tried to put away Giancarlo Stanton with a 3-2 changeup, but the Miami slugger wasn’t fooled.

Stanton’s laser was his National League-leading 21st blast of season and gave the Marlins a 2-0 advantage. The Phillies pushed across a run against Tom Koehler in the bottom of the fourth, and then did so again in the fifth. Marcel Ozuna put the Marlins back up in the seventh with the club’s third solo dinger off Hamels, but Miami first baseman, Jeff Baker, allowed the Phillies to even up the score in the bottom of the inning on a botched grounder that would have been the third out.

Hamels delivered a solid performance, but he was also aided by a pair of fine plays behind him; Ben Revere laid out on a sinking liner to rob Marcell Ozuna of a base knock in the second inning, and Utley made a nice diving snag to his left in the third. Asche got in on the action in the eighth inning with a barehanded play to take away a potential Jake Marisnick bunt single for the second out of the frame. That play proved to be crucial, as the next three Marlins reached base before Ozuna struck out with the bases loaded to keep the score knotted at 3-3.

Miami relievers spent the first three innings of bonus baseball weaving their way in and out of jams. In the 10th inning, A.J. Ramos allowed the first two runners to reach base and eventually worked himself into a bases loaded situation with two outs. He induced a groundout by Asche to send the game to the 11th.

Ramos came back out for a second inning of work and immediately plunked Carlos Ruiz. Two outs later, the Texas Tech University product issued just the eighth walk that Ben Revere has drawn this season, which gave the Phillies another prime scoring opportunity. Ramos was lifted in favor of Chris Hatcher, who got Jimmy Rollins to pop up weakly to shortstop.

The Marlins looked to start a rally of their own against rookie left-hander Mario Hollands in the top of the 12th, but Asche took away a double down the third base line by Saltalamacchia with…

The Defensive Play of the Day

Donovan Solano singled to right field two pitches later, so Asche’s defensive prowess likely erased another potential run off the board. It wouldn’t be the last time in the game that a great snag by the Philadelphia third baseman would save a run.

The Phillies mounted a two-out rally in the 12th against Hatcher with back-to-back singles by Marlon Byrd and Asche. But Philadelphia fans let out yet another groan when Ruiz grounded out to second.

With Justin De Fratus on in his second inning of relief, the 26-year-old reliever retired Casey McGehee and Hatcher to start the 14th. Garrett Jones lined a one-hopper off the left field wall for a double, and the Phillies decided mid-plate appearance to intentionally walk the next batter, Saltalamacchia. Up next was Donovan Solano, who yanked a screamer that seemed like a sure bet for extra bases. Luckily for Philadelphia, Asche has hops.


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Related Content:  Cody Asche,  Cole Hamels,  Chase Utley,  Walkoff

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