The streaking Phillies won at home on Thursday night, as per usual, 9-6, over the Reds. It was yet another another victory of the comeback variety, as the Phillies trailed 3-0, and 4-2, early in the game. The Phillies' power bats, and power bullpen arms, are uniquely-suited for their home ballpark, as evidenced by the Phils' string of wins against the Mets and Reds. (It could be argued that winning six of seven at home, against the reeling Mets and Reds, is less meaningful than the 13-22 home record the Phillies once sported. That argument, however, would be wrong.)
Jamie Moyer picked up a good-luck win, after surrendering six runs (on eight hits and a walk), in five mediocre innings. Manager Charlie Manuel continued his streak (now at two games) of riding the hot-hand in the bullpen, rather than portioning off the late innings among his relief corps, by allowing Chan Ho Park to throw three innings. Park was outstanding in his scoreless effort, allowing only a single walk, while striking out four. (Park was awarded his sixth hold for his performance, but was deserving of much more than just an "H" in the boxscore. Such as, a cheesesteak.) Brad Lidge extended his scoreless inning streak to one, picking up his seventeenth save (and two strikeouts) in the ninth inning.
The Phillies bats mashed the Reds' arms for twelve hits, and eight walks. Non-All-Star Jayson Werth and All-Star Chase Utley each hit his 20th homer, with Utley's being his second MLB inside-the-park home run (both against the Reds, who believe fly balls are best-delegated to a single outfielder, rather than handled as a team effort). Utley, Werth, Jimmy Rollins, and Pedro Feliz each knocked a pair of hits. Charlie Manuel contributed to the nine-run outburst, by holding Eric Bruntlett out of the game, likely waiting for an opportunity to bat against a position player.
The big offensive hero of the night, however, was Paul Bako. Bako came on as a pinch-hitter in the fifth inning, and grounded into a double play. Except Bako used HIS CHEETAH-LIKE SPEED TO PREVENT THE DOUBLE PLAY! It was Bako's first RBI as a Phillie, and former Phils' backstop Darren Daulton teleported in, as the game was stopped for a presentation. Bako's quest for an RBI had been made difficult by repeated at-bats with poor, or no, contact, as well as good-to-mediocre MLB pitchers. But he proved that, if you get enough at-bats, with enough baserunners, you might actually cause one of those baserunners to score. Bako would, later, utilize his speed again, scoring from third on a wild pitch. Someone with Rollins' Speed likely would not have dared attempting to advance on that wild pitch, but for Bako, remaining at third was not even a consideration. If the rules didn't forbid running the bases backwards, Bako would have run back to second, and scored from there. Just so it would have been more of a challenge.
Phillies play the Pirates this weekend. If Bako plays all three games, expect three more wins, and two more award presentations. At least.