Maybe So Taguchi watches Daily News Live. Yesterday, on the Comcast Sports Net show, there was much said about the much maligned reserve having no business being on the Phillies roster.
Before last night, in the 30 games since the Phillies exploded for 20 runs in St. Louis, So Taguchi had one hit. Seriously. He had one hit in 30 games. Taguchi’s mega-slump is now in the past after playing an unfamiliar role since joining the Phillies – hero.
Now, after last night’s 8-6 win over the Mets in dramatic fashion, Taguchi has one hit in his last one at bat. The past is gone…forgiven.
The Phillies, trailing 5-2 in the ninth inning, managed to tie the game with clutch hitting from Jayson Werth, Greg Dobbs and Shane Victorino. Then, Jimy Williams, filling in for the ejected Charlie Manuel who watched the game from the visitor’s clubhouse, put Geoff Jenkins into the game to pinch hit. The Mets countered with lefty reliever Pedro Feliciano. Since Jenkins doesn’t hit southpaws well, Williams yanked the announced hitter and went with Taguchi who hit a bases loaded double to right field to give the Phillies a lead they would not surrender.
With first place on the line in New York, the Phillies scored six runs in the ninth inning to take game one of a critical three game series at Shea Stadium.
With the Mets playing well under new interim manager Jerry Manuel and the Phillies struggling to score runs, the Phillies faced the prospect of leaving Queens with a three game deficit in the NL East. Now, the worst case scenario would leave the Mets with a one game lead over the Phillies at the end of the series. Most importantly, the Phillies survived facing Johan Santana even if most of their damage came against the bullpen.
Now, the Phillies must rely on a Brett Myers, who has made his last four starts in the minor leagues. If Myers corrected his mechanics and his mindset, he could be a major lift to the Phillies as they try to make a deep run into October. Myers will face John Maine tonight before Jamie Moyer and Oliver Perez battle on Thursday afternoon in the series finale.
Lost in the dramatic come from behind win is the first start by Joe Blanton who struggled against a potent Mets’ lineup. In six innings, Blanton surrendered 5 earned runs on two homers. He struck out only one while walking three. Hopefully, it was just first game for a new team jitters for Blanton who is very important to the Phillies’ postseason aspirations. He will pitch next against the Braves at Citizens Bank Park on July 27.