Phillies 4, Cubs 3
PHILADELPHIA (AP)—Jimmy Rollins broke for home and then just stopped, the winning run momentarily stalled about 40 feet from the plate.
Phillies manager Charlie Manuel had one thought as the go-ahead run was nearly wiped out: “Aww, hell.”
But when Chicago catcher Michael Barrett threw to third, it was just the opening Rollins needed to make the mad dash home and score the winning run in the ninth inning, leading Philadelphia to a 4-3 victory over the Cubs on Wednesday night.
“He couldn’t run me down,” Rollins said. “At the least, I make them make a couple of throws and hopefully they make a mistake but it only took one.”
The mental miscue cost the Cubs and it was their second wacky loss to the Phillies this year.
Back in May, former Cub LaTroy Hawkins’ throw to first base for what could have been a game-ending double play instead hit Jose Offerman’s helmet and ricocheted into the stands, allowing the go-ahead run to score.
Billy Wagner (4-1) joked it was the only ending that topped this one.
“Whatever way we can do it, I guess,” Wagner said. “That was as weird a way to finish a game as we’ve seen this year. Two of the most exciting games I’ve ever played have come against the Cubs this year.”
Rollins doubled off Mike Remlinger (0-3) to open the ninth, and moved to third on a grounder. Then the lefty reliever intentionally walked the left-handed hitting Chase Utley and Bobby Abreu to load the bases before he was pulled for Michael Wuertz.
Pat Burrell swung wildly at strike three on a full count, but Barrett couldn’t handle the pitch and was charged with a passed ball. Barrett threw to third and the throw from Aramis Ramirez was too late.
“You’re taught to run at him every time,” Barrett said. “I panicked and threw the ball. I looked up and saw Rollins breaking and I threw the ball.”
Said Cubs manager Dusty Baker: “I’ve never seen anything like that.”
Wagner pitched a perfect ninth inning for the wild win, and the Phillies snapped a two-game losing streak.
“They make a mistake and we take it,” said Phillies starter Robinson Tejeda.
After Tejeda left with a 3-1 lead after six strong innings, the Cubs tied the game against Philadelphia’s bullpen in the seventh.
Against Rheal Cormier, pinch-hitter Todd Hollandsworth hit a broken-bat soft fly to right that Abreu could have dove for, but he stopped short and the ball bounced past him for a game-tying, two-RBI double.
“I don’t know if it was catchable or not,” Manuel said. “It would have been a hell of a catch.”
The Phillies wasted a career-high six strikeout effort from Tejeda, who again was sharp as the Phillies’ fifth starter.
Tejeda allowed four hits and walked none, giving up one earned run or less for the sixth time in nine starts this season. He struck out the side in the third inning and allowed only a sacrifice fly in the fifth.
“He’s been pretty relaxed ever since we put him that role,” Manuel said.
Cubs starter Jerome Williams gave up five hits and three runs—two earned— in four innings.
The Phillies took a 3-0 lead in the second inning on Bell’s sacrifice fly, Mike Lieberthal’s RBI single and Rollins’ RBI groundout.
Injured RHP Kerry Wood and SS Nomar Garciaparra are expected to rejoin the Cubs by this weekend. Wood said his right arm was loose and feeling good after a couple of minor league rehabilitation outings. Garciaparra went 1-for-3 in his final rehabilitation game at Double-A West Tenn. … Former Phillies reliever Dan Plesac visited with some of his former teammates before the game. … Actor Greg Kinnear, who is filming a movie in Philadelphia, was at the game.