Do you remember the Clint Eastwood movie “Any which way but Loose?” Well, I’m sure that’s kinda the thought that Jim Tracy and Huston Street had last night as Street took the mound in the 9th. There’s an old saying in baseball: Right Turn… have a seat. Kinda like “Right turn, Clyde!”
That was the hope of the Colorado fans and of Huston Street. Especially after failing to retire the Phils in order the game before and putting the Rockies behind the eight ball. But today was a new day and Hope springs eternal.
Not to mention he had a two run cushion courtesy of a miraculous comeback by the Rockies in the 8th.
The problem of course is that the Phils were also hoping to get on Hope Street and stage a comeback of their own. It’s kind of a two way street in that regard.
You had a feeling though that Street was going to run into some problems. There would be at least one hump in the road in the 9th.
Starting with Jimmy Rollns who already had a hit. Shane Victorino who had a Home Run and Chase Utley who had reached safely 3 times already! Oh, just in case you allow one of those guys to reach… you get the reward of pitching to Ryan Howard and possibly Jayson Werth! No fun…
So when Jimmy Rollins stepped up to the plate it didn’t take long to realize that Huston Street would rather be taking one of these ..
then be forced to face the Modern era version of Murderer’s Row. The heart of the 2008 World Champs. In less than 2 pitches it was clear that Huston Street was pitching “not to lose” instead of pitching “to win”. To the calibre of hitter’s in the middle of the Phils lineup that’s like letting a rabid dog smell fear. Not good.
Rollins took advantage of Street’s tentative approach.. worked the count and then reached base safely on an infield single. Accuracy and Speed.
Victorino chose a different route, perhaps not keying into the fear as well as Rollins did. He chose a right turn. .
One out. Next up the engine of the Phillies machine – Chase Utley. This guy has it all, Power… Accuracy & Speed… coupled with a calm disciplined approach at the plate. He definitely saw Huston’s reluctance to challenge and took advantage.
A big problem in the manner of the NL RBI leader and the primary culprit from Game 3 – Ryan Howard. Ryan didn’t miss a beat and he didn’t miss the meat (ball) delivered by Huston Street. His rocket double over RF Carlos Gonzalez’ head released the speed on the bases.
Rollins and Utley scored and the unbelievable had happened. The game had turned again. Now the score was tied 4-4 and both teams were trying to get here…
The Phils went on to take the series.. an exciting one.. but not what the Rockies had hoped for. They fought one heckuva battle but lost to a very talented World Championship squad. So, who will be holder of the YH crown for the day? Hmmm…. that’s a tough one. I think I’ll have to give it to –
The Usual Suspects!